Most of us remember a time when we could eat anything we wanted and not gain weight. But a new study suggests your metabolism, the rate at which you burn calories, actually peaks much earlier and starts its inevitable decline later than you might think.
The findings appear in the journal Science.
“As we age, there are a lot of physiological changes that occur in the phases of our life such as during puberty and in menopause. What’s odd is that the timing of our ‘metabolic life stages’ doesn’t appear to match the markers we associate with growing up and getting older,” said study co-author Jennifer Rood, PhD, Associate Executive Director for Cores and Resources at Pennington Biomedical Research Center.
Four Pennington Biomedical researchers were part of an international team of scientists who analyzed the average calories burned by more than 6,600 people as they went about their daily lives. The participants’ ages ranged from one week old to 95 years, and they lived in 29 different countries. The other Pennington Biomedical scientists are Peter Katzmarzyk, PhD, Associate Executive Director for Population and Public Health Sciences; Corby Martin, PhD, Professor and Director, Ingestive Behavior Laboratory; and Eric Ravussin, PhD, Associate Executive Director for Clinical Science.