How Is Obesity Related To The Type Of Food We Eat?

Obesity is related to the type of food we consume in a very direct way, because our body can assimilate a large amount of sugars, fats and flours from the foods we eat. This affects the way our body works and our level of body fat.

We are what we eat. Therefore, the diet must be balanced, rich in nutrients that provide our body with energy and vitamins. When consuming foods rich in fats, flour and sugars, it is very possible that there is an increase in our weight and that we even suffer from obesity.

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For the World Health Organization (WHO), obesity is related to an unusual amount of body fat that can be harmful to the body, and expresses that it can be established if someone suffers from obesity thanks to the body mass index : the weight of the person in kilograms divided by the square of the height in centimeters.

In this sense, the WHO considers that a person has obesity if their body mass index is 30 kg / m2 or is above this figure. Similarly, it is considered an indication of obesity when the abdominal circumference is greater than or equal to 102 cm for men; and for women, equal to or greater than 88 cm.

A diet rich in sugar, flour and fat, added to little or no exercise, can generate harmful consequences to health, since a mismatch is created between what we consume and what our body is capable of eliminating or burning, so our body accumulates adipose tissue or fat.

Foods related to obesity

Foods rich in saturated and trans fats

Our body requires that we consume fat for proper functioning, since it is an important source of energy. Fat comes from various food groups, such as dairy, oils, and meats, among others.

Any food in excess is harmful; Therefore, you should take care of your fat intake and prefer the so-called healthy fats, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Preferring these over unhealthy fats (which are saturated and trans) can make a difference in our health.

Healthy fats

Healthy fats are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help lower triglycerides in the blood. These types of fats are found in some fish, in products derived from soybeans, in flaxseed and its oil, in walnuts and in canola oil.

Likewise, other foods rich in healthy fats are avocados, seeds such as almonds, sesame, peanuts and pine nuts, as well as olive oil, olives and oils such as sunflower and corn.

Harmful fats

Saturated fats are found in meat and dairy, as well as packaged foods and fried foods. These increase the so-called bad cholesterol or LDL and, with it, the possibility of suffering cardiovascular diseases.

Examples of saturated fat are high-fat meats, whole milk, butter, lard, poultry skin, cold cuts, chocolates, ice cream, and coconut and palm oils.

Trans fats —which are in the group of bad fats— are liquid oils, which after going through the process of preparing meals, turn into solid fats. These types of fats increase bad cholesterol and reduce good cholesterol; that’s why they are so harmful.

Refined flours

Starch is one of the components that is present in refined flours and can be harmful to health. In addition, refined flours are high in calories, which can exceed the recommended daily calorie intake.

In order to achieve the typical whiteness of the flours, it is necessary that they go through a refining process that seeks to enhance their flavor and make it more visually attractive, using bleaches, oxidants and stabilizers. In turn, this demineralizes it, reducing its nutrients to next to nothing.

When consuming these flours, our metabolism converts them into sugars and glucose levels increase, producing a kind of shock in our body as a result of the accelerated process. Wholegrain flours gradually provide energy to the body; therefore its consumption is more recommended.

An example of this type of refined flours are pasta, hamburgers, pizza, bread, dough for cakes, desserts and almost all industrialized products.

Soft drinks and refreshing drinks

Soft drinks and beverages with a high sugar content are directly related to obesity and the diseases that can be derived from it.

This type of drink – whose content is made from corn syrups, fructose and sucrose – has been studied by researchers at the University of California, who have determined that sugar is directly related to type 2 diabetes.

In this study it was determined that soft drink has a caloric content much higher than any food; By drinking it, the consumer does not satisfy hunger but rather excess calories are consumed.

This is so because, in addition to ingesting the calories contained in the soft drink, the individual will consume an additional portion of food, since they will not be satisfied with the drink.

On the other hand, the consumption of this type of drinks increases the appetite. This is due to the rapid variations in glucose and insulin levels that the body produces to help balance carbohydrate levels in the body. Thus, by lowering the blood glucose level, the appetite grows.

Possible diseases derived from obesity

There are many diseases that can be generated as a consequence of obesity. Among the most common are the following:

– Diabetes.

– Cardiovascular diseases.

– Respiratory diseases such as sleep apnea.

– Joint disorders and degenerative diseases of these.

– Breast, uterus, prostate, liver, colon, kidney, endometrial and ovary cancer, among others.

According to WHO data, in 2012 the biggest cause of death was cardiovascular disease.

Prevention of obesity

To help prevent obesity, eat a balanced diet and exercise at least 35 minutes a day.

A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is also recommended, without neglecting animal proteins. However, the ideal is to consume meats that are lean, as well as eggs and skim milk.

Likewise, fiber consumption is very important; It is estimated that 22 grams should be ingested per day. Fiber can be found in cereals, fruits, and vegetables.


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  2. “Consequences of obesity” (S / F) in Sanitas. Retrieved on June 3, 2019 from Sanitas:
  3. “Follow-up Phase: Saturated, Unsaturated, and Trans Fats” in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Retrieved on June 3, 2019 from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  4. Why are all refined flours bad for your health? (S / F) Online and Health. Retrieved on June 3, 2019 from Línea y Salud:
  5. “Obesity and overweight” (February 2018) in World Health Organization. Retrieved on June 3, 2019 from World Health Organization:
  6. “What is obesity” in Novo Nordisk. Retrieved on June 3, 2019 from Novo Nordisk:

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