Obesogenic environment: what is it and how to control it to eat healthier

If your goal is to take care of your health to finish 2016 and start 2017 full of vitality, you should know that the environment can have a great influence on your diet. That is why today we tell you what it is and how to control an obesogenic environment to eat healthier.

What is an obesogenic environment?

An obesogenic environment is described as one that favors the development of obesity or that stimulates habits and behaviors that lead to excess weight. That is, it is the set of external factors that surround us that can lead to overweight or obesity.

Thus, an obesogenic environment can be one that encourages sedentary lifestyle because it is full of technology that facilitates "no human effort" or one that encourages us to eat more and of poor quality.

An environment full of food stimuli such as a variety of fast food stores, ready-to-eat foods, sedentary work or excessive workload without the possibility of training, and even a stressful and tense environment, can be typical of an obesogenic environment that is not at all favors the care of the diet for the benefit of health.

Both emotions and advertising, technology and other environmental factors can make our environment obesogenic and harmful to health, as they are determinants of our diet and therefore, we must learn to control them if we want to eat healthier.

How to manage an obesogenic environment

The reality is that many of these external factors are not within the reach of the consumer but are rather modifiable by governments and / or industries, but even so, we can act on them.

In addition to taking into account the purchase and selection of ingredients as well as the way we cook, we can consider the following tips to avoid or control an obesogenic environment:

  • Plan and organize, not only your menu throughout the week but also your purchases. We usually consume everything in the house, so an unplanned purchase can lead us to eat poor quality food or ready-to-eat dishes that are loaded with calories. We can start by organizing a menu and based on it, make the shopping list. In this case, our light and healthy menus can help you.
  • Store carefully, taking into account that what is in sight and within reach is eaten according to a study published in Health Education & Behavior, so that an obesogenic environment would be one that always presents commercial snacks, sweets or pastries nearby. industrial, while what we can do is show fruits ready to consume in order to encourage their consumption.
  • Maintain order and cleanliness in your house and kitchen, that is, it is essential not to have food exposed in different areas of the home, since American scientists have found that it is associated with a higher risk of obesity. But in addition, the order and cleanliness of the kitchen were linked in a Cornell University investigation to a more controlled diet.

  • Identify and control your emotions, as they can alter your eating behavior and negatively influence your diet. For example, we can eat because we are bored, stressed, angry or sad, and this leads us to an intake without hunger and of poorer quality, since when we eat to calm emotions we usually choose "pleasant" foods such as those rich in fats and sugars.
  • Take care of your rest, respecting the hours of sleep each day, as insufficient rest can generate stress, alter hunger and satiety hormones and thus harm your diet.
  • Look for good company. Family or friends can considerably influence our habits and if we surround ourselves with active people and lovers of healthy food, we will undoubtedly feel more comfortable and it will be easier for us to eat healthier.
  • Reduce your television hours, because in this way you will remove sedentary time from your days, but also, you will prevent television advertising from influencing your consumption as it usually happens. And most importantly, avoid eating with distractions such as television that does not favor your healthy consumption.

With all these tips you can control or avoid an obesogenic environment and on the contrary, you will achieve an environment that helps you eat healthier from now on.

Remember that the factors that surround us can be much more influential than we imagine on our consumption, therefore, we must consider them and have them under control to achieve a healthy diet.

Consulted bibliography | Health Educ Behav October 19, 2015 1090198115610571; International Journal of Obesity (2015) 39, 1401-1407; doi: 10.1038 / ijo.2015.70; published online 26 May 2015.
Image | iStock

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