Then why did this study only choose 192 women to do this study on? And if the consensus is that you’ll gain weight just by being a woman living longer than 40 years, why is the result that you have to cut back on calories in order to not gain weight?
What’s wrong with just, you know, aging gracefully?
If you’re a 40-something woman, it doesn’t matter whether you’re thin or overweight — odds are, you’ll gain weight over time if you don’t make an effort to cut back on what you eat.
The finding comes from a study of 192 women with an average age of 40 by Brigham Young University researchers Larry A. Tucker, PhD, and Laura Bates. The women were not obese, had not yet reached menopause, and did not smoke.
The thing that gets me though, is the nonchalant attitude towards disordered eating:
Some earlier studies suggested that women who try to eat less actually end up gaining weight because their feelings of deprivation lead them to cycles of bingeing[sic]. But Tucker and Bates saw no evidence of this, even though they acknowledge that binge eating usually does occur in people trying to eat less.
“Tight regulation of food intake may lead to bingeing [sic] from time to time, but over the long term, fewer calories are consumed and the risk of weight gain is much less in women who practice restricted eating,” they suggest. “In fact, women have to increase restraint over time to keep from gaining weight and body fat.”
So, starving oneself to maintain a culturally acceptable weight or developing binging behavior is all acceptable. Disordered eating is so much preferable to actually being fat. Right?
Of course, this is only about women, only women were used in this study. So, what I want to know is where’s the study talking about how men over 40 tend to gain weight and how they need to starve themselves?
Gaining weight in middle age is about getting old. Our bodies are not what they used to be, can’t do what they used to do. In college, I could stay up 40 hours straight with little consequences. Give me 10 uninterrupted hours of sleep after the all-nighter, and I was fantastic. Now, at 42, I’m lucky if I can last 20 hours in a row, and then I need two or three good nights of sleep afterwards to feel good.
As we get older, the metabolism slows down (or maybe becomes more efficient in processing the calories). Why should we punish our bodies, ourselves, to maintain a youthful appearance? And especially, why should we women buy into the crap that we need to maintain a culturally acceptable weight, no matter what the cost is, even if it means engaging in disordered eating behaviors?
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