If you’re in your 20s and you’re struggling to lose weight, it might not be as easy as “eat less, exercise more” for you. Specifically, for the millennial generation, extra outside forces are factors in your fitness level, more so than people from the ’70s.
Researchers at York University used diet and exercise information from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Survey collected between 1971 and 2008 to draw their conclusions. They found that despite an increase in physical activity in the last 20 years, BMI was 10 percent more in 2008 than in 1971. While not entirely certain of a specific cause, professor Jennifer Kuk suggests it may be environmental — stress, medications, or even the food itself:
“Our study results suggest that if you are 25, you’d have to eat even less and exercise more than those older, to prevent gaining weight,” said Kuk. “However, it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise. Ultimately, maintaining a healthy body weight is now more challenging than ever.”
The Center for Disease Control released data this week about obesity rates in the U.S. It makes plain, in several handy color-coded maps, that the only state that has less than 20 percent obese residents is Hawaii. Ouch. It appears to be not just how much we’re eating, but what we’re eating, that’s making it harder for Americans to stay fit.