Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Um, No . . .

You can eat less and exercise more—but you’ll still probably gain more weight (about 10 percent more) than someone your age would have gained 20 – 30 years ago, eating and exercising the same amount.

So says a new study published in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice. The study found, as reported in The Atlantic, that someone, in 2006, eating the same amount of calories, taking in the same quantities of macronutrients like protein and fat, and exercising the same amount as a person of the same age did in 1988, would have a BMI (Body Mass Index) that was about 2.3 points higher.

The study’s authors posited three possible explanations for their findings:

1. Today we’re exposed to more chemicals—pesticides, flame retardants, the substances in food packaging—that may be messing with our hormones.

2. We’re taking more drugs, especially antidepressants, many of which are linked to weight gain.

3. Our gut bacteria are changing, possibly because we’re eating more meat—and that meat is now being treated with growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics.

It all makes sense. Except the statement by one of the study’s authors, who told The Atlantic that the body weights of Americans today are influenced by “factors beyond their control.”

Noooooo . . . we can control our own exposure to pesticides, antidepressants, and factory farm meat. By going organic. And staying off drugs. What’s more, we must continue to fight the corporate control of our food system that’s led to this mess.

And we better hurry up. Because according to another new study, 107 million children and 603 million adults are now obese.

Read the study

Learn more

Get Local

Find News and Action for your state: