Millennials might not have to use an abacus and walk uphill both ways in the snow, but new research suggests they don't have it as easy as previous generations when it comes to staying fit.
A study from experts at York University's Faculty of Health suggests that it could be harder now more than ever before to maintain a healthy body weight. With that said, if you're in your mid-20s, you'll likely need to eat less and exercise more than your parents did to avoid gaining weight and becoming obese, according to a press release. Basically, if you don't want a Dad Bod, you'll have to work harder at being healthy than your dad.
After analyzing dietary data of nearly 36,400 American adults collected by the National Health and Nutrition Survey between 1971 and 2008 as well as data on the physical activity of 14,419 adults from 1988 to 2006, the researchers found potential explanations for why our waistlines keeping growing and suggest that there's more to it than just your diet and amount of exercise. While eating well and working out obviously results in weight loss, those methods alone might not be an effective solution to weight loss in the long run, they said.
“This is because weight management is actually much more complex than just ‘energy in’ versus ‘energy out,'” Professor Jennifer Kuk of the School of Kinesiology and Health Science said in the release. “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.” At least you can give up on all that hard math now, right?
Turns out other lifestyle and environmental factors like when you eat, the amount of stress you're under, the bacteria in your gut, environmental pollutants, medications, genetics, and things you'd never even think of like nighttime light exposure can influence how you gain and lose weight, according to the study.
In effect, you're gonna lose your battle to lose weight. And it's not even your fault -- the rallying cry of the millennial.
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Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and, well, didn't need to hear this right now. Send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick.