Weird Science: America Today = Less Sex + More Fat. Have We Just Stopped Trying?

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Weird Science: America Today = Less Sex + More Fat. Have We Just Stopped Trying?

This Week in Weird Science: We go All-American and learn Americans aren’t having sex. They’re eating too much bacon and drinking far too much soda. And, as a country, we’ve fully accepted our fatness—yes, science has backed America’s “fat acceptance.”


Americans aren’t having sex as much as their parents and grandparents.

Think you’re getting more ass than your parents ever did? Well, we’ve got some bad news, you probably aren’t.

A new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior reports that American adults just aren’t boning like they did in the 1990s, having nine fewer encounters per year than older generations. This drop also spans across age, gender, race, region, education level and work status. Basically, where the 1990s brought prominence to the “bump and grind,” today’s generation would much rather be bad and boujee, according to an anthropological analysis by Migos.

Though the results of the study suggest the reduction of sexual frequency is due to “the increasing number of individuals without a steady or marital partner,” because you can’t have sex without a partner—though, right hands may beg to differ—and “a decline in sexual frequency among those with partners (both married and unmarried).”

Using data from the General Social Survey from 1989-2014, adults from 1989-1994 had sex, on average, 60 to 62 times a year. Among today’s adults, that number has dropped to less than 53 times per year—about once a week. Perhaps more alarming, though, is that married couples have sex less frequently than never-married individuals, with 55 times a year to 59 times a year, respectively.

The report didn’t test any specific reasons for as to why this decline has happened, but the researchers behind the study suggest that the decline may be related to fatigue from working longer hours and the growing number of entertainment alternatives, which means “Netflix and chill” may literally be Netflix and chill, without any further connotation.

Oh, and you know the generation least likely to “Netflix and chill?” That generation, those born in the 1930s have, overwhelmingly, the most sex of any other adult demographic on the list. Maybe instead of “Netflix and chill” it should be “Sign of the Beefcarver and Werther’s.”


Americans have accepted their fatness.

Americans have reached the fifth stage of weight loss, acceptance … acceptance that they’ll probably never lose those extra pounds and acceptance that a diet of bacon is really fucking delicious and obesity’s okay as long as you’re happy.

The results of a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that overweight Americans have, for the most part, stopped trying to lose weight and that obesity rates are continuing to climb. The researchers think “fat acceptance” and repeated failed efforts to lose weight as possible reasons for this new, unhealthy trend.

“Socially accepted normal body weight is shifting toward heavier weight. As more people around us are getting heavier, we simply believe we are fine, and no need to do anything with it,” said lead author Dr. Jian Zhang, a public health researcher at Georgia Southern University.

The team analyzed two decades’ worth of U.S. government health surveys of more than 27,000 adults aged 20 to 59. The earliest surveys from 1988 found that roughly half of the adult participants were overweight. By 2014, that number was a whopping 65 percent.

What’s deemed a socially acceptable body weight has shifted throughout the years, and today, it may be the heaviest it’s ever been. Dr. Zhang notes that the positive side to fat acceptance is that people feel less ridiculed about their weight. That said, “fat acceptance” can quickly lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and a significantly shorter life.


Americans eat too much bacon, drink too much soda, need more nuts.

Somebody should remind Americans that “bacon” and “soda” aren’t applicable substitutes for nuts and fruits on the food pyramid because, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, far too many Americans are dying from heart disease, strokes and diabetes caused by these foods.

The researchers analyzed 700,000 deaths in 2012 related to heart disease, strokes and diabetes along with a collection of national health surveys that asked Americans about their eating habits. Needless to say, the study concluded that Americans aren’t eating enough nuts and seeds, healthy seafood like salmon and sardines, fruits and veggies, and whole grains. And they’re consuming an excessive amount of “bad” salty foods: processed meats like bacon, bologna, and hot dogs; red meat; and sugary soft drinks. Just these “bad foods” contributed to 45 percent of those 700,000 deaths in 2012.

This study, though it sounds like yet another attack on the American diet, echoes the benefits of healthy eating—literally, the better you eat, the longer you’ll live—and even outlines what a regular “healthy diet” looks like.

Is this too intimidating?

Good Foods:
-Fruits: 3 servings of fruit daily (no, a single grape is not a serving)
-Vegetables: 2 cups cooked (4 cups raw) veggies every day
-Whole grains: 2 to 3 servings daily
-Nuts/seeds: 5 1-ounce servings per week
-Seafood: 8 ounces weekly

Bad Foods:
-Processed meat: None
-Sugary drinks: Zilch
-Salt: 2,000 milligrams daily (about a teaspoon)
-Red meat: 1 serving weekly

Top photo by Kim Ahlström CC BY 2.0

Tommy Burson is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen San Diego but with more sunscreen and jorts.

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