If your parents delight in telling you how much healthier they were than you when they were your age, we have the best comeback for you: a study has showed it was easier to be healthy thirty years ago.
A recent study published in the Obesity Research and Clinical Practice journal shows that the BMI of an American adult today is on average 2.3 points higher than someone with the exact same calorie consumption and a comparable fitness regime 30 years ago.
The researchers compiled this information by studying the dietary data of about 37,000 adults from 1971 to 2008. "If our research is correct, you need to eat even less and exercise even more just to be same weight as your parents were at your age," lead researcher Jennifer Kuk told The Atlantic.
Why you ask? Well, here's the kicker. The researchers haven't been able to ascribe one particular reason to the results, but they do have an idea of a possible cause.
We're all exposed to a lot more chemicals than we were in the 1970s, and prescription drug use has risen steadily. They think that the interplay of these drugs, as well as the preservatives and artifical ingredients found in our food, could be affecting the balance of good bacteria in our gut.
A happy tummy is a healthy one, so if you feeling bloated, sluggish or often get belly ache, it might be worth investing in a good probiotic supplement. Too much of the wrong kind of bacteria - and not enough of the good guys - stops your body absorbing nutrients efficiently from the food you eat, which could make you crave unhealthy food and also affect your metabolism. Who knew?