Losing weight isn’t easy anymore; researchers explain why

The study revealed that a person in 2006 that consumed the same amount of calories and exercised for the same amount of time as a person of the same age in 1988 would have a BMI 2.3 points higher, and weighed 10 percent more.


“Our study results suggest that if you are 40 years old now, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than if you were a 40 year old in 1971, to prevent gaining weight”, declared Professor Jennifer Kuk of the School of Kinesiology and Health Science.

One reason could be Western society’s general view that female obesity is undesirable and unattractive, while another could be growing evidence to suggest women are more responsive to adversity in life than men so they might be more likely to perceive being overweight or obese as a source of stress or adversity.

Are you exercising, dieting, refraining from alcohol and tobacco and still not able to manage your weight? Everything from pesticides and flame retardants to BPA and phthalates are suspected of altering our hormonal processes and confusing the way we gain and maintain weight.

Just what those other changes might be, though, are still a matter of hypothesis.

Now, the authors of the study have explained they believe there are factors beyond calorie intake and exercise that are causing today’s millenials to gain more weight. Because of our changing diet we have less healthy gut microbiomes. “It seems to point to something either intrinsic in our environment or our bodies… that is more than obvious factors of calorie intake and expenditure”, Lofton said. The doctoral student in U.C. Berkeley’s Golden Bear Sleep and Mood Research Clinic serves as the study’s lead author of the study. Additionally, people who not get enough sleep tend to produce a hormone called ghrelin which can increase appetite. These days, junk food is far more accessible (and affordable) than real foods rich in nutrients, and technology dominates every inch of our lives, making us more likely to spend a spare hour scrolling through Instagram on the couch instead of hitting the gym or even just taking a walk.

The study, published on September 14 in the journal, Obesity Research & Clinical Practice, relied on surveys that in turn relied on people to remember correctly (and be honest about) what they ate and how much they exercise. She added, “There’s been a few literature looking at the relationship late bedtimes and weight gain cross-sectionally, but no one’s ever looked at what happens long term”.


Sad but true: Americans are, on average, significantly heavier than they were as recently as 30 years ago.

Schoolgirls eat fast food as they walk past a chemist stocking the Alli slimming pill