Obesity has become a clear global problem that affects some 800 million people worldwide, with millions more at risk. So much so that it has been described as one of the biggest medical problems of the 21st century.
By 2030 it is expected that the childhood obesity increased by 60%, reaching the figure of 250 million Worldwide. In Spain we do not escape this upward trend. According to data issued by the Ministry of Health, the percentage of obese people in Spain in 2020 amounted to 16%.
And it doesn’t just become an aesthetic concern. Dozens of studies associate obesity as a health problem that increases the risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer or diabetes.
One of the ways to advance in its prevention is to work together, something that the experts for the world obesity daywhich is celebrated on March 4.
Bad habits as the main cause of obesity
Poor eating behaviors are crucial factors for the development of obesity. Often it’s the small habits that cause weight gain. While genetics and certain health conditions can cause obesity, the main reasons attributed to this problem are wrong lifestyle and habits as the following:
1. Do not sit down to eat
The way we eat affects our body and our health. Eating standing up can lead to increased food consumption, as we have already detailed in this article. Instead, sitting can be a good way to maintain your ideal weight because it helps us control the amount of food we eat and makes us feel full faster.
In addition, this position makes us eat more slowly than we would if we were standing up.
2. Not planning meals of the week or the shopping list
Failing to plan ahead is one of the main reasons people end up eating fast food or, in a moment of uncontrolled hunger, opting for a bag of chips over a healthier option.
Planning meals for the whole week and making a list of the products we need to prepare them will help us eat healthier (and also save money).
3. Eating too fast
Not taking the necessary time to eat can harm us with a few extra kilos. Doing it in less than 15 minutes can cause hunger to set in again, and to do so very soon.
Eating slowly, in a suitable place and whenever possible in company helps us control our weight. The Spanish Society for the Study of Obesity (SEEDO) recommends dedicating a minimum of 40 minutes to the midday meal.
4. Watch TV while we eat
We do not pay attention to it, but it is a very widespread habit, although it is not recommended at all. According to one research published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dieteticsadults who eat in front of the television have a 37% more likely to be obese than those who don’t.
The effect is similar for people who eat in front of a screen, whatever it is. Experts attribute this increase to the fact that when we are distracted we do not pay attention to internal signals of satiety.
5. Skip the fruit dessert
Eating fruit for dessert can help us quench our sugar cravings without putting our diet at risk. The fruits are rich in fiber, water, vitamins and minerals. There is a false belief that eating fruit for dessert makes you fat.
However, the caloric intake of a fruit is always the same, whether we take it before, during or after. One of the possible mechanisms by which fruit contributes to weight loss is its potential effect on satiety.
6. Do not drink water during meals
And opt for other types of drinks such as sugary ones: water does much more than quench thirst. In addition to hydrating us, it keeps our skin healthy and our digestive system works smoothly.
Water is necessary for the body, it favors the assimilation of food and contributes to the feeling of satiety. Its caloric intake is null, it does not contain proteins, fats or carbohydrates, or fiber. Therefore, water during meals does not make you fat.
7. Skipping meals
Although it may seem the opposite to us, the truth is that skipping a meal is the best way to ingest even more calories than necessary. In fact, in the next meals we will tend to eat much more to compensate. Breakfast is especially important since starting the day without eating causes an inadequate level of nutrients, especially carbohydrates and proteins.
8. Not always eating at the same time
Having fixed schedules and eating at a fixed time allows us to control food consumption and not disperse ourselves in unhealthy practices such as uncontrolled snacking.
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