It’s no secret that obesity is a significant problem in the United States, but why is it so pervasive? With over two-thirds of Americans considered overweight or obese, it’s time to address the underlying causes and find effective ways to prevent and treat this complex issue.
Obesity is a prevalent health concern in both the UK as well, with varying degrees of severity. As of recent data, the UK sees about 26% of adults classified as obese, with a higher proportion of men being overweight or obese compared to women.
Let’s look at why obesity has become so common.
The Standard American Diet (SAD)
One of the leading causes of obesity is diet. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is high in sugar, fat, and processed foods while low in essential nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals. These unhealthy food choices are easier to access and cheaper than healthier alternatives like fresh produce and whole grains. As a result, many Americans choose foods that provide empty calories with little nutritional value and can lead to weight gain over time.
Lack of Physical Activity
Another factor contributing to obesity rates is the lack of physical activity. Jobs that involve sitting for long periods have increased dramatically over the past several decades, making it difficult for people to get adequate exercise regularly. In addition, other factors, such as limited access to recreational facilities or safe places for outdoor activities can make it even more challenging for individuals to stay active throughout their lives.
Genetics & Environment
It’s important to note that genetics play a role in how susceptible an individual may be to becoming overweight or obese, as well as their ability to lose weight once they do gain excess pounds.
Additionally, environmental factors such as stress levels and access to healthy food can also influence someone’s weight gain over time. For example, studies have shown that living in poverty increases one’s risk of being obese due to the lack of access to healthy food options and higher levels of stress which can lead people to seek comfort foods instead of nutritious meals when times get tough.
Obesity is an undeniable issue plaguing the country today, which has many underlying causes, from genetics and environment down to what people eat each day and how much they move around daily. So how can you avoid obesity without going out of your way? Here are some simple ways to do that.
One of the simplest ways to avoid obesity is to prepare meals at home instead of relying on convenience foods. This can be as simple as making a big batch of pasta or beans and rice one day a week, which you can portion out and refrigerate to have an easy meal to reheat when hunger strikes.
Additionally, preparing fresh fruits and vegetables in advance can make it easier to add these nutrient-dense foods into your regular diet without spending too much time cooking each day. If you’re too busy and don’t know what to cook, get a free trial on a meal-based subscription service like Simply Cook.
Eat Mindfully and Slowly
Mindful eating involves being aware of the foods you consume and paying attention to the signals your body sends. It means taking your time while eating and listening to your hunger cues.
Eating slowly helps with weight management but can also help improve digestion, reduce bloating, and help you feel satiated longer. Try chewing each bite at least twenty times before swallowing, and pay attention to how full you feel as you eat.
Make Healthy Swaps
Making healthy swaps is an easy way to ensure that you make nutritious choices without too much effort. For example, instead of white bread, try switching up your sandwich for a whole wheat wrap or using a lettuce leaf instead; instead of crisps as a side dish, opt for air-popped popcorn; opt for plant-based proteins like legumes over red meats whenever possible; choose Greek yoghurt over sour cream when topping off tacos, and use olive oil instead of butter when cooking meals-making these simple swaps can add up quickly!
Move More Throughout the Day
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or unpleasant – it can be fun! Incorporating more physical activity into your daily life can help prevent obesity without going out of your way.
Start small by taking regular breaks during work hours for a quick walk around the block; commit to taking the stairs instead of the lift every day; go for a bike ride with friends on weekends; or if short on space in your home try a mini stepper, shown below.
You don’t need expensive equipment or long workouts – finding ways to stay active throughout the day will make all the difference!
Preventing obesity doesn’t require drastic changes – minor tweaks here, and there can make all the difference. With just a few changes here and there, anyone can avoid obesity without going out of their way.