Obesity is a complex problem that has multifaceted approaches with no single or simple solution. The epidemic of obesity did not spread like wildfire. Instead, it gradually grew year after year, making it harder to counter. Causes of obesity have manifested themselves in the fabric of our environmental and social life.
Yet, the ways to combat obesity have gained traction, primarily through prevention one step at a time. While to feel the results of these efforts, a positive change must come to all parts of society ranging from families to institutions. We need to design policies and an environment where healthy choices are the only approach.
Obese people are at a high risk of multiple disorders and need fully managed medical treatment. However, the numbers are so great and rising that individual treatment becomes expensive and impractical. Today this condition hinders economic development due to the rise of social costs.
Policymakers, businesses, government institutions, community leaders, etc., must all come together to support a healthy lifestyle.
There are many ways for state and local organizations to create a supportive environment and address obesity in society.
Why Control Obesity?
Obesity is a serious matter as it associates itself with poor mental and physical outcomes and hinders the quality of life. Obesity is also a significant contributor to other fatal diseases such as strokes, diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer variants.
Controlling Social Obesity
Obesity Control in Children
Prevention of obesity begins at an early age, and youngsters need to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Adults and parents need to ensure that children have a healthy dietary routine.
Breastfeeding for Infants
Studies have suggested that breastfeeding reduces the risk of childhood obesity. That is why experts suggest breastfeeding infants whenever possible to minimize chances to maintain a healthy diet routine from the beginning. Children pick the habit of eating, which their parents encourage that plays a huge role in early childhood obesity.
Build Relation With Healthy Foods
Parents must encourage children to try various vegetables, fruits, and proteins from the start—the need to plan out eating schedules that discourage junk food whenever possible. The dietary professionals can offer advanced methods in the diet care domain. They can provide progressive guidance to parents or guardians about the type of diet children need to incorporate into their regular eating habits. They also keep up-to-date information about the ones they coach to help them build relations with healthy foods.
Listen to the Experts
Parents and guardians need to attend dietary events conducted by experts in dietary health issues for advice regularly. These experts have their graduation done in nutrition to offer better obesity control for young and adults alike. Such experts also strengthen their credentials through various programs to work on different public health policies that target the management of obesity. These professions have the subject’s expertise and share valuable insights that work best for children and adults alike. If you only have a bachelor’s degree, now it’s time to opt for a master’s degree in this field. With the advent of various online platforms, pursuing a degree has become easier and more accessible. If this notion has convinced you, then go for an online MPH.
Eat Healthy as a Family
Children pick a habit when they see adults doing the same. That is why parents need to promote healthy eating sessions. Changing eating habits as a family enables children to develop a healthy diet and continue following it as they grow up.
Limiting Junk Food
If you consider a rule of thumb, bringing unhealthy and junk food means children will likely eat them. Prevention of early age obesity is only possible by limiting such food in the house. Stock your pantry with healthy food and bring junk snacks only as a rare treat. To emphasize the effects of such food on the body to create awareness early on.
Promote Exercise and Good Sleep
Studies conducted by experts suggest that at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity is essential to prevent potential obesity. Activities such as sports, gym classes, games, etc., can play a vital role in ensuring the body remains at optimum condition levels.
Additionally, ensuring sound sleep patterns also decrease the chances of obesity. Studies have suggested that children and adults with abnormal sleeping routines gain weight more often. Healthy sleep needs a proper schedule, a comfortable area, and a bedtime ritual.
Obesity Control in Adults
Obesity control tips and methods for adults require losing excessive or maintaining a healthy weight. Adults need more emphasis on daily exercises and a balanced diet to prevent and control obesity.
Consumption of Fat
Not all fat that a person can consume is bad. Earlier studies have suggested that intake of dietary fats such as polyunsaturated ones improves cholesterol and controls obesity. On the other hand, consumption of unprocessed or oily fats produces opposite results. In short, adults need to consume “good” fat rather than “bad” fat.
Limit Sugar Use
Consumption of processed, ultra-processed, and sugary stuff increases the risk of obesity and other disorders. Processed foods have higher levels of fats, salts, or sugars that promote overeating and unhealthy diet habits. Limit the use of sugar or processed foods as much as possible to prevent obesity conditions.
Instead of sugars, prefer fruits and vegetables to reduce overeating and keep calorie levels in control.
Consume Dietary Fiber
Consumption of dietary fiber plays a huge role in maintaining weight and keeping the digestive system intact. Adults who take fiber-induced supplements can lose up to 5% of body fats to control excessive weight. That is why health experts suggest a daily dietary fiber intake for better stomach functioning and weight management.
Engage in Aerobics and Weight Training
Aerobics and intensive weight training is the best way to burn excessive calories and fat to convert into pure muscle. Fats and calorie development is the leading cause of obesity that you can overcome through regular exercise. The more intense the regime, the better it is for growth and a healthy lifestyle. Aerobics of 150 minutes daily or at least three days of intensive exercise is best to keep your body fit internally and externally. While combined with proper sleep patterns, your body develops a healthy lifestyle for preventive measures.
Another major cause of obesity in adults is due to excessive stress. Stress has dire effects on the body and mind that give rise to obesity. A person develops unhealthy eating habits when depressed or in a stressful situation. The human brain triggers a response that changes eating habits and leads to high cravings for calories. The development of obesity happens if a person succumbs to these cravings. Try to reduce stress in life to keep calories in check and avoid obesity.
Some Community Strategies
Both individual and community settings can use specific strategies to combat obesity and keep the condition controlled. These include:
- Promoting availability of healthy foods and beverages
- Support choices for a healthy lifestyle
- Encourage breastfeeding for infants and proper dietary habits in children
- Promote physical activities for both children and adults
- Establish safe environments for the support of physical activities and organize the community for change
A healthy weight is proof of a healthy lifestyle. Making efforts to control obesity in society is the first step towards a good life. Even small changes such as consuming fruits and daily exercising can prevent obesity drastically. A nutritionist or dietary expert can help formulate a plan to follow if you prefer a direct approach. Additionally, meeting with a personal trainer or a fitness instructor gives you access to exercises that keep your body in shape while maintaining weight drastically.