“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.” York University Press Release (source)
Please keep in mind, we are raising awareness here about obesity and why it can be harmful to your health. We believe addressing core issues around weight challenges is a key solution here.
In order to do this they evaluated dietary data of approximately 40,000 Americans between 1971 and 2008, as well as exercise data of approximately 15,000 individuals between 1998 and 2006. They found that when all three factors were equal, a person in 2006 would still have a body mass index that was approximately 10 percent higher than that of a person eight years prior. This means that a person eating the same amount of macronutrients, like fat and protein, eating the same amount of calories and exercising the same amount as a person did in 1988 (of the same age), would still be heavier today.
“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. . . . [and[ it also indicates there may be other specific changes contributing to the rise in obesity beyond just diet and exercise.” (source)
A press release from York university points out how weight management is much more complex than the average person realizes. According to the lead author of the study, Professor Jennifer Kuk, it is “actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out.’ That’s similar to saying your investment account balance is simply your deposits subtracting your withdrawals and not accounting for all the other things that affect your balance like stock market fluctuations, bank fees or currency exchange rates.”
Kuk explains how our body weight is impacted by our lifestyle and environment, and lists a number of reasons why “ultimately, maintaining a healthy body weight is now more challenging than ever.”
Studies like this are important, especially given the fact that the past several decades have seen a very dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity in both developed and developing nations.
Although Professor Kuk and her colleagues did not come to any firm conclusions, they did suggest some possible contributing factors we might want to take a look at.
Pharmaceutical Prescription Drugs
“Additional novel factors that may be contributing to the obesity epidemic include increases in pharmaceutical prescriptions associated with weight gain, higher maternal age, reduction in variability of ambient temperature, decreased prevalence of smoking, inadequate amount of sleep and low calcium.” (source, pg 8)
This is definitely a big possibility, and several studies have come to this conclusion. This study cites four. (Source 1)(Source 2)(Source 3)(Source 4)
Experts report that up to 25 percent of people who take antidepressants can expect to put on an extra 10 pounds or more. (source)
It’s no secret that prescription drug use has been associated with weight gain and other unhealthy side effects. Despite the fact that governments around the world market them as completely safe, death by medicine is a 21st century epidemic. You might not know it, but prescription drugs actually kill far more people than do illegal drugs.
In June 2010, a report published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that of 62 million death certificates, almost a quarter of a million deaths were labelled as having occurred in a hospital setting due to medication errors. Approximately half a million preventable medication-related adverse events occur in the U.S. every year.
The latest example of this comes from an independent review that found that the commonly prescribed antidepressant drug Paxil (paroxetine) is not safe for teenagers, despite the fact that a large amount of literature already previously suggested this. The 2001 drug trial that took place, funded by GlaxoSmithKline, found that these drugs were completely safe, and used that ‘science’ to market Paxil as safe for teenagers. You can read more about that here.
All this is because prescription drugs really aren’t as safe as they are marketed to be, and alternative means for medicating oneself are not even made known to the patient or studied by most doctors. If it isn’t a pharmaceutical grade, manufactured, chemical based drug, it is most often ignored.
“The medical profession is being bought by the pharmaceutical industry, not only in terms of the practice of medicine, but also in terms of teaching and research. The academic institutions of this country are allowing themselves to be the paid agents of the pharmaceutical industry. I think it’s disgraceful.” – (source)(source) Arnold Seymour Relman (1923-2014), Harvard Professor of Medicine and Former Editor-in-Chief of the New England Medical Journal
So when it comes to these prescription drugs, there is a lot more to look out for than just weight gain, and it’s important to take all these factors into consideration when looking honestly at our health.
“Recent studies have observed that persistent organic pollutants, chemicals that can be found in food and everyday products, are associated with higher BMI and waist circumference and may be partially attributable to the rise in obesity rates. As well, the majority of agricultural beef cattle are given exogenous sex steroids in order to increase weight gain and feeding efficiency. Although there are concerns that this may influence human health, more research in this area is needed.” (source, pg 8)
Many common household products contain endocrine disruptors, some of which are structurally similar to hormones such as estrogen and therefore can affect a person’s normal bodily functions. Examples include bisphenol-A (BPA), PCBs, phthalates, triclosan, agricultural pesticides, and fire retardants.
Research also suggests that antibiotic-ridden meat has the same weight gaining effect on humans who consume it as it does on animals.
Billions of pounds of chemicals are sprayed in the United States alone every single year. Recent studies have shown how several of these chemicals, like Glyphosate (active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp Herbicide), are detrimental to human health, so it comes as no surprise that they could be considered a factor for weight gain.