Body Changes in the last 50 Years

Body Changes in the last 50 Years

Body Changes in the last 50 Years

In many sporting disciplines, the body shapes of past top competitors were different from those we see today.

Advancements in training and nutrition have created specialized athletic body shapes that are more extreme than their historical counterparts.

Sprinters have become more slender, basketballers have become taller and the BMI of gymnasts has fallen.

This has brought with it more skill and speed.

There’s no denying that we are creating the perfect sporting bodies.

And yet changes in body shape over time are by no means confined to the realm of sport.

Over the last 50 years, the human race has become taller, our feet have grown larger and our BMI has increased.


Trends in health and fitness have been a key driving force:

  • The 1960s: Active lifestyles and physically demanding jobs meant a low average body weight

  • The 1970s: The desire for a fit physique kept average weights low but smoking was popular and a cause of reduced life expectancy

  • The 1980s: The addition of fructose into convenience foods fuelled an increase in average body weights

  • The 1990s: Whilst obesity became an issue, somewhat conversely, a waif-like body size became the fashion ideal

  • The 2000s: An increasingly sedentary lifestyle has meant that body weight has continued to increase, with 22.3% of Filipino adults overweight according to the 2011 FNRI survey

To find out more about how societal trends have driven changes in body shape over the past 50 years, read this fascinating article that analyzes actual trends as well as the perceived ideal decade by decade.


Categories: 07. Other News
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