Picture: skynesher/iStock
Picture: skynesher/iStock

Turns out we don't all live forever like Oasis promised, and we've got a limited time that our metabolism keeps us looking svelte and youthful

Based on data released by the US of Department of Health regarding calorie consumption, the age at which the average person's ability to binge food and keep off the pounds is 25.

The information was posted on the blog of statistician Nathan Yau, Flowing Data. Yau explained that the reason for the drop after 25 is because as we age we generally become less active. When our diet doesn't change to reflect this, our metabolism seems to be letting us down.

How many calories we need as we age also depends on how active our lifestyle is. The more sedentary one is (sitting down, reading indy100 all day, for instance) the fewer calories one needs, especially when compared to the number needed and burned off by someone who is more active (such as a distance runner who reads indy100 all day).

It also differs depending on gender. Men generally consume a higher number of calories per day, and continue to do this.

On average once we hit 25, our ability to consume and then burn things off drops by about 200 calories. For women there's a further drop of about 250 calories after they turn 50. While women's metabolism capacity drops suddenly when they reach certain ages, it then stabilises and holds firm at that level. Conversely, the speed of men's metabolism declines at a much more staggered rate, decreasing steadily with age but rarely constant.

The long and the short of it is, late nights fuelled by pizza, Boost bars, and cola can only last for so long. This isn't an encouragement to live like Bill Murray in Ground Hog day, recklessly downing vanilla slices until the last minute of your 24th year, but a gentle nag to cool it once you start your adult life of sitting as much as possible.

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