Nutrition and dietary specialist Ezgi Hazal Çelik explained 6 environmental factors that increase the risk of obesity; makes important suggestions and warnings. “Obesity”, which is defined as one of the most important health problems of the 21st century by the World Health Organization, is defined as an increase in the abnormal accumulation of fat which endangers health. human in the short and long term.
It is said that 100 out of 20 people in our country are struggling with the problem of obesity. It is estimated that 3 out of 2 people worldwide will suffer from obesity in the near future. Many factors such as “malnutrition” and “inactivity”, metabolic differences and genetic characteristics play a role in the development of obesity. “Another important factor that is overlooked is that changes in our behavior caused by environmental factors can be a driving force for obesity.” Ezgi Hazal Çelik, Nutrition and Food Specialist at Acıbadem Bakırköy Hospital, continues: “Studies show that people with obesity problems are more exposed to environments that trigger malnutrition and reduce their level of obesity. physical activity compared to people of normal weight. Certain environmental conditions increase the consumption of empty calories i.e. foods with low nutritional value, high in calories and lead to inactivity. As a result, obesity can develop due to high energy intake despite low energy consumption. Therefore, environmental changes should be added to variable risk factors such as changing eating habits and increasing the level of physical activity ”. So what environmental factors are effective in gaining weight?
Availability of high calorie foods
Fast food, processed foods, packaged goods, and carbonated and sugary drinks are some of the major negative factors that support the weight gain process. “In today’s conditions, delicious foods like these products, which are energy intensive but have no nutritional value, are quite readily available, and the prices for these products are cheaper than many healthy foods. Nutrition and dietary specialist Ezgi Hazal Çelik said: “All of this leads to excessive consumption of these foods which lead to weight gain. However, processed foods and fast food meals that are low in nutrients; Due to their high content of fats, refined carbohydrates and preservatives, they induce hunger in a short time, increasing the number of meals and calories taken during the day. As a result, weight gain is inevitable, so you can only include these products in a healthy diet if it is not too often, ”he says.
Because eating has become a part of social organizations and cannot find the time to cook at home due to a hectic work pace, most of us often eat out or order food from home. outside, but over the past 50 years, especially in fast food establishments, portions have increased up to 5 times. “Glamorous portions and presentations, enlarged for customer satisfaction, can increase the amount of calories by triggering the behavior of continuing to eat despite feeling full.” Nutrition and food specialist Ezgi Hazal Çelik, who cautioned, lists his suggestions as follows: “Choose small portions from menus that you eat or buy out. Avoid sodas that are found on menus like gravy, potatoes and cola. If it is not possible to vary the portions, consume healthy options such as salad, greens and buttermilk with main dishes in weak sauce, grilled or baked and do not add as much salt as possible.
The possibilities offered by technology
With the advancement of technology, communication tools such as television, computer, tablet and telephone have become tools where we can achieve everything in terms of information, business and entertainment. Because of this, we can now stay on screen for long hours. With the pandemic process, the transition to working from home and the distance education system has caused us to move beyond the augmented periods. Nutrition and dietary specialist Ezgi Hazal Çelik said that this situation also causes the formation of snacking habits along with inactivity and states: “In order to avoid the risk of obesity, it can reduce the time. screen usage, when the time you spend on the screen increases. due to work or training, get up every 30 minutes and exercise or you can stretch. If you want to consume something while working out, watching movies, or playing games, choosing healthy alternatives such as unsweetened herbal teas, unsweetened coffee, raw nuts, or a serving of fresh fruit will avoid the problem of fast hunger after eating foods high in sugar and fat and your high calorie intake. said.
Insufficient green space
Even if you reduce your daily energy intake, not being physically active enough can increase your risk for weight gain. The lack of walking areas, parks and areas where we can do physical activity in the environment we live in causes obesity with increasing weight. On the contrary, spending time in bike paths, parks, playgrounds, walking trails and green spaces is beneficial in maintaining body mass index at certain intervals. Get in the habit of walking briskly for 3 to 4 minutes at least 30 to 45 days a week, in pedestrian areas near your home, in parks or around the site or apartment where you live, if applicable. If there are no such areas in your living environment, you can also benefit from online exercises.
The location of nutrients is also one of the important environmental factors that increase the risk of obesity. For example, when you are thirsty and you go to the kitchen for a drink of water, you notice the chocolate is on the counter and you may find yourself eating chocolate when you never thought about it. . “This is of course not the case for everyone, but we prefer the products mainly because of their location. For this reason, it is very important to place the healthiest option in an easily accessible point. He says it will positively affect his control.
Advertisements for sugary cereals, sugar and sugary drinks appear not only on television but also in all areas of our daily life. Foods low in fiber and vitamins, high in fat, sugar and salt, as well as animal fat have started to gain more and more space in our lives as a result of advertising. Making our food choices more conscious, including these foods less frequently and in certain amounts in a healthy diet, will be an important step in weight control.