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Why obesity is a subject to be addressed?

Know what it is and what are the signs of overweight. For its consequences to health, to obesity is necessary to prevent and reverse it, then: if you identify yourself in these indexes, you must put hands to work and take care of your body.

Overweight and obesity are defined as an abnormal or excessive accumulation of fat that can be harmful to health. The body mass index (BMI) – weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters (kg / m2) – is an index frequently used to classify this scourge in adults. WHO defines overweight as a BMI equal to or greater than 25 and obesity as a BMI equal to or greater than 30.

Obesity is usually the result of an imbalance between the calories consumed and the calories expended. Increasing the consumption of very high-calorie foods without a proportional increase in physical activity produces weight gain.

Data to pay attention

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions worldwide and every year at least 2.8 million people die because of it. Although previously considered a problem confined to high-income countries, at present, it is also a scourge prevalent in low- and middle-income countries.

Overweight and obesity are risk factors for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Argentina is not exempt in this scenario. There is a growing trend mainly in the most vulnerable sectors, where there is a double burden of disease that combines obesity with malnutrition, especially in childhood. Children are the future, we must place special emphasis on them.

What can we do?

1- A healthy diet:
  • Decrease the consumption of foods of animal origin (fatty meats, cold meats, sausages and whole milk products).
  • Increase the consumption of foods of vegetable origin (fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds).
  • Reduce the intake of sugar and salt.
  • Take as much liquid as possible, mainly water.
  • Avoid prolonged fasting and perform at least 4 main meals.
2- Regular physical activity:
  • Perform regular physical activity: at least 30 minutes a day for adults.

Community support

Individual responsibility can only fully exert its effects when people have access to a healthy way of life and receive support to choose healthy options. At the social level, it is important to help people follow the aforementioned recommendations, through sustained implementation of demographic policies and based on scientific evidence that allows periodic physical activity and healthier food options to be available and easily accessible to all, in particular for low-income people.

Governments, civil society, non-governmental organizations and the private sector have a crucial role in the prevention of obesity.

Role of the food industry

The role of the food industry can play an important role in promoting healthy eating as follows:

  • Reducing the fat, sugar and salt content of processed foods.
  • Ensuring that healthy and nutritious options are available and accessible to all consumers.

In conclusion: to face this serious problem it is necessary, from the individual, the adoption of a healthy lifestyle. And from the collective, the commitment of governmental entities, social and industries.

Sources: msal.gob.ar, who.int

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