April 25

Why are people getting fatter these days?

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It's easier for people to get fat these days than in the past. Now the average american stands +15 pounds heavier than what it used to be 20 years ago. 

Worldwide obesity tripled since 1975. So what makes us fatter than our ancestors? 

So how do people get fat or why are people getting fatter

Food being the main culprit, in addition to that the unhealthiest food sources are getting cheaper and easily available. The food we eat is used to power various functions which keep us alive. There are other activities too that burn calories from food. 

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How did I get so fat without noticing?

If we are not burning those calories that we consume. Then our body will convert them into fat and store it. 

Now we will look into various causes that increase the gap between energy consumed and energy used. The gap is widening due to our lifestyle and eating habits.

Shift in eating habit :  at home to eating out

People are having food away from home. The food getting cheaper and easily available while being tasty increases the frequency of eating out. 

As the food is getting cheaper, more people are going out to have food. In 2015 Americans spent more money on eating out than buying groceries. 

While eating out once in a while is not that unhealthy. We are seeing a rise in people eating out. 

While you eat out, you intake more calories than you eat at home, this increases the chance of you getting fatter. 

This study conducted on dishes in restaurants shows that it has an average 1200 calories, which is nearly half of 2500 calories that an average person has on a day. 

The second problem with eating out is, you won't always get a nutrient dense food. It will be a nutrient sprase, thus not good for your health. 

What you can do in the situation.

Prepare your food and have it with your family. Thus you can control the calories you take in and the micronutrients you take in. 

Increase in intake of sugary beverages

It's easy for you to intake a lot of calories through beverages, as it doesn't make you feel fuller. 

People who drink sugary beverages have a greater chance of developing type2 diabetes, obesity and other health issues. 

The study shows that the caloric beverages will only increase the positive energy balance. It won't change hunger, while increasing the bmi and body weight. 

Study from the Journal of american dietetic association shows that consumption of an energy-yielding beverage either with a meal or as a snack poses a greater risk for promoting positive energy(calories). That's more calories into the system. 

Reduce the consumption of sugary beverages. Use plain water while you are thirsty. 

Increase in consumption of  fatty foods

The fat from food is essential for nutrition absorption and needed for body functioning and synthesis of membrane walls, hormones etc. 

But they provide more calories, adding a lot of calories into your system. 

Fats increase your satiety and control your appetite in a control environment. But in real life conditions, things may not be true in all conditions and your chance of taking in more calories can happen as food becomes tastier.

The increase in fatty food consumption is causing obesity.

Decrease in physical activity

The decrease in physical activity is increasing the chance of obesity and overweight.

In the 21st century more people are having desk jobs and using cars or motorcycles for commuting, rather than cycling or walking. 

Being sedentary and lack of exercise will make the excess calories to be stored as fat.

The recommended weekly activity is 150 minutes of light to moderate exercise. If you want to lose weight, then you have to increase the exercise time. 

In addition to physical exercise you can also use NEAT, this includes climbing stairs, and other activities that don't come under exercise. Being active makes you lose more calories. 

Increase in portion size

The portion size has been increasing from the past, it's also making you fatter. The portion size has increased 3-4 times over 60 years. 

The caloric intake has also increased 20% in 40 years; ie from 2100 calories in 1970 to 2550 calories in 2010 according to the USDA.

Healthy foods costs more

Now unhealthy foods are getting cheaper, tastier and more available. This condition makes it easy for people to move towards unhealthy calorie dense and nutrient scarce foods. 

The fruits and vegetables are nutrient dense which is essential for health. But study by CDC shows that less than 20% people get their daily required level of vegetables and fruits. 

Increase in intake of sugar

The sugar intake has increased 20% in 30 years. The increase in calories along with a decrease in physical activities will alter the energy balance. The surplus calories will be stored in the body as fat. 

Influence of ads

The food industry is spending a lot of money to market their products. The obesity in children is mainly influenced by the ads on print and digital media, Based on a study by institute of medicine.

The food companies spend around 60% of their ad spend on sugar and savoury snacks, while only 11% to promote nuts and fruits. The study also shows that the ads spending on sweet snacks increased 15% from 2010 to 2014.

All these factors leads to surplus calories, whether 

  • You eat a lot from outside
  • You take in lot of sugary beverages

  • You taking lot of sugary sweets

  • You take in lot of high fat foot

  • Your physical activity level gets reduced
  • Your portion size increased

  • Moving to high calories cheaper food alternatives

These factors point us to one thing. Calorie surplus.

Your body will store the surplus calories as fat. And day after day your waist size will increase unnoticed and one day you will ask. 

How did i get so fat without noticing?

How to lose body fat?

  • Try to have food from your home
  • Drink plain water instead of sugary soda

  • Try to have less processed foods

  • Have fatty foods in moderation

  • Try to be more active throughout the day, start exercising

  • Have 4-5 servings of vegetables

  • Stop eating when you are 80% full

I know the above points do not provide a clear action plan towards fat loss. This article can be seen as an introduction to the fat loss topic. We will be writing more articles in the coming days.

If you have any suggestions or want me to write about any topics, please comment. 

What is the most important reason behind people getting fatter?

What do you think?

Share it in the comments. 


Tags

fat loss, lifestyle


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