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In the US, more than 50 million Americans pay for a health club membership every year, making up more than one-third of the global population of health club members and contributing more than $75.7 billion toward the global economy. More than 100 million Americans are also on a diet, contributing more than $20 billion a year to that industry. 

Yet in spite of what would seem to be a health and fitness crazed nation, obesity levels in the US just continue to rise. In response, scientists are struggling to determine both the cause and the solution. One reason may be the universal nature of most diets. The truth is that every body is different and people’s bodies respond very differently to different types of food. Here are three reasons every body responds differently to different types of food.


In the modern world, a far greater variety of food is available to us than was available to our ancestors. In fact, not all of the foods that we have access to are necessarily as healthy for us as others. For instance, protein is a critical element in any diet, but different foods contain very different types of protein. People whose ancestors came from a very cold climate may have more enzymes that help to break down and process complex proteins like those found in meat, while people whose ancestors came from a very warm climate may fare better on the types of proteins found in rice, vegetables, and legumes.

Individual Biological Differences

While genetics will certainly play a very important role in how an individual body processes and breaks down foods, they are not the only factor. Individual biological differences also play a critical role. A study of twins conducted by the King’s College London (KCL) in the United Kingdom and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston — in collaboration with nutritional science company ZOE — found that even identical twins respond differently to different types of food.

Hormonal Changes & Fluctuations

Even the same body can have a different reaction to different foods at different times. Some women have more difficulties processing dairy products when they are menstruating and people with asthma or other respiratory issues may also have different reactions to certain foods at different times. Stress can release a flood of hormones that can cause a range of problems, including making it more difficult for diabetics to properly regulate their blood sugar.