A new study has found that those consuming the same calories and doing the same exercise were 10% heavier in 2008 than in 1971 – as the Guardian wryly notes, it’s “another reason for millennials to resent their parents”.
Scientists are not sure why this was the case, although have made some suggestions.
“Weight management is actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out’,” says Professor Jennifer Kuk, of York University, Toronto, one of the author’s of the study that was published in the journal Obesity Research and Clinical Practice.
Factors that may play a role include changes in sleep patterns, stress levels, night-time light exposure, more pollutants in our food, higher maternal ages, reduced variability of ambient temperatures or changes to our gut microflora.
As the Guardian says:
The complexity of disentangling these potential causes probably means millennials will have become the object of resentment from their own offspring’s generation for their good fortune before scientists figure it out.
Originally published by Cosmos as It was easier to lose weight in the 1980s
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
Read science facts, not fiction...
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.