It is true… Your parents had it easier. Generation Y adults face more challenges when it comes to weight loss than previous generations.
According to a recent study out of York University’s Faculty of Health, those aged 25 years and younger have to work even harder to prevent becoming obese.
The study was large, analyzing dietary data of over 36,000 adults and physical activity data of more than 14,000.
“We observe that for a given amount of self-reported food intake, people will be about 10 percent heavier in 2008 than in 1971, and about five percent heavier for a given amount of physical activity level in 1988 than 2006,” notes Ruth Brown, lead researcher and York U graduate student, adding, “These secular changes may in part explain why we have seen the dramatic rise in obesity.”
It’s not clear why it is hard for millennials to keep the weight off, but this study does shed light on the fact that preventing obesity is not as simple as exercising more and eating less. The study does mention that other factors, such as lifestyle, environment, medications use, environmental pollutants, genetics, timing of food intake, stress, sleep deprivation, gut bacteria and even nighttime light exposure (TVs, smartphones, etc.) may contribute to more weight gain.
Interestingly, they hypothesized that organic pollutants, found in foods and everyday products, may also be to blame for the rise in obesity rates, more so than in previous generations.
What Can Generation Y Do to Combat Obesity?
First, Gen Y has to make sure they are meeting the obvious recommendations for preventing weight gain, eat less and exercise more. The recommendations are simple – exercise and be mindful of what and how much you eat. Definitely check out other articles on the site to see what works for you. The convenience of fast food and increased screen time are definite barriers to eating healthy and exercising daily.
After that, millennials may need to go the extra mile and purchase organic foods, avoid processed foods, meditate more, get adequate sleep and more sure the room is dark at night.
Take Home Point
This study does shed some interesting light on other factors that can be contributing to increased obesity rates in the young adult generation. While this one study is not confirmative and has its biases, it is reasonable to consider other factors that can be causing weight gain in the adults of Generation Y.
While this study highlights the challenges that Generation Y may have in battling obesity. we should all be considerate of factors that can be leading to weight gain, especially if we are exercising and eating the right foods in the right amounts. You may also need to consider potential underlying medical reasons for having difficulty in losing weight, such as, hypothyroidism.
In the end, take care of performing regular exercising and practice good dietary habits. After that, consider other reasons why keeping a healthy weight may still be a challenge. At any point in time, do not hesitate to check with your doctor or consult a nutritionist and/or a personal trainer for more advice on living a healthier lifestyle.