In recent years, obesity levels have increased. Regardless of genetic factors, the increase in the prevalence of obesity has a multifactorial origin.
Firstly, the amount of sugar in the diet has increased significantly, leading to a deterioration in nutritional education.
We have not been able to adapt to the changes in our society, so that physical activity has been replaced by a life that is increasingly sedentary and enslaved by technology, in which we hardly have time to eat.
Finally, it is important not to forget the emotional component. For many people, eating has become a real escape route for their problems.
What types of diet have been detrimental to eating?
The types of diets that have been most detrimental to the nutrition of society worldwide are, fundamentally, all those that abuse simple or rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, as well as the increase of ultra-processed foods in the diet.
The diet to avoid obesity, depending on age
Children should follow a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats. In other words, they should follow the Mediterranean diet.
Approximately half of the calories their body needs should be incorporated through carbohydrates, preferably the so-called complex carbohydrates, which include rice, pasta and legumes, among others. The other half should be incorporated through fats and proteins. On the other hand, it is important to reinforce the consumption of fish and introduce vegetables if possible on a daily basis.
In any case, it is necessary for parents to follow a series of guidelines for planning children’s meals:
- Eat 5 meals a day
- Avoid snacking
- Avoid industrial pastries when organizing snacks.
- Substitute industrial pastries for fruit, yogurt and lean cold cuts.
- Avoid soft drinks
Factors to be modified to avoid obesity
First of all, it is important for parents to be aware of the problem. Children learn from their surroundings. For this reason, the first measure that should be encouraged is healthy habits by example. It is difficult for children to eat vegetables if their parents do not.
Secondly, it is essential to promote sports and it is important to do so from early childhood. We are witnessing how new technologies have invaded children’s leisure time. In this sense, it can be positive to take advantage of all the good that these technologies can offer, but we must not let them monopolize the lives of children, because in that case, adolescents will be increasingly sedentary.
Each person has a different metabolism and not all children will have the same physique even if they eat the same food.
On the other hand, it is advisable not to turn the act of eating into a speed race. Prizes should not be awarded to the one who finishes first, but rather the opposite. Eating fast increases the risk of the so-called metabolic syndrome, which is one of the main causes of cardiovascular disease.
Measures to combat obesity worldwide
In the case of children, it is necessary to reduce the consumption of sugar in their diet and high-fat industrial foods. It is necessary to ensure that all members of the family eat the same food.
Above all, encourage sporting activity in children and adolescents. It is possible to adopt the Mediterranean diet and still be overweight if we do not use up excess calories from food through exercise.