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The one who is fat is because he wants to, but nobody would think of blaming a hypertensive. We have an extremely simplistic view of this disease, we stigmatize all obese people equally," says Almudena García Carrasco, coordinator of Obesity, the silent pandemic: What consequences does it have and how can we prevent it? (Ed. Encouragement).
A rigorous work, prepared by a score of professionals from fields such as medicine, history, education, nutrition and psychology. They warn of how this complex pathology already affects 25% of the Spanish population and a third of the world (tripling the data of 1975). And it continues to increase these levels without us being able to stop it. "It will affect half of the Earth's inhabitants, especially the elderly, women and low- and middle-income countries. It is already assuming a very strong health economic expenditure, added to other consequences, such as diabetes and chronic inflammation, "says the professor in the area of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid (URJC) and author of several scientific dissemination articles on obesity.
Given the genetic lottery that has touched us little we can do, but there are other factors, such as urban design, that would help combat this obesogenic push. "It has been seen that places with more green and pedestrian areas favor people to walk to the supermarket or play with their children." Nutrition education is also very important: "It improves purchasing decisions, avoiding the choice of ultra-processed foods, which do not provide vitamins, minerals or fibers but are rich in sugars and salts." Those with higher levels of stress also manage sadness and emotional hunger through food. "It's not just the one who eats a lot, moves little and has to diet. Behind all this there are causes to attend to."
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Garcia encourages a return to the Mediterranean diet. "We are in Spain, we have fresh food on hand but we do not carry it out." Also to be more realistic in the objectives. "We set goals too high, overnight we want to reduce intake and beat ourselves up to our life in the gym. It's counterproductive."
The first thing we must do is put ourselves in the hands of professionals, he says, because if we learn to eat well and maintain motivation with a follow-up, the results will come. "We are educated to live on a diet, although obesity is an issue that goes far beyond aesthetics. We all believe we have the right to an opinion because we see an overweight person quickly but it is a problem that is killing us, "he criticizes.
The pressure has been more focused on them traditionally and that is now changing. "The canons that are required of women extend to men, not to be thin, but to achieve high muscle mass." Our bodies are continually forced to remove a high amount of glucose from the blood. "An ice cream or a hamburger is going to make the glucose spike very high. On the other hand, if we consume whole grains, oats and other foods with a lower glycemic index, they break down complex sugars into simple ones and that hunger will remain more stable, so that you do not enter all the time. "
In the book, the researchers also review eating disorders, with an increasingly younger appearance, and analyze the latest treatments available, such as Ozempic, the injections that promise to end obesity and that sweep the black market. "Everything depends on the cause, these techniques seek to meet a series of minimum requirements, such as a high rate of safety and utility, as well as generating few sequelae or side effects."
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You can eat poorly and be thin. That can give you a false sense of being healthy. "Exercise is always recommended beyond burning calories because, as a result of muscle contraction, proteins called myokines are released that provide great benefits." But it is not the panacea if you have a nutrient deficit: "Inflammation is not a bump, but a process that affects multiple organs and triggers diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory problems ...".
García, also a graduate in Pharmacy from the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) proposes that every day counts. And he calls us well-off troglodytes if we choose very caloric foods that generate more pleasure. "The home is the first educational center. You have to involve children in the kitchen so that they learn to eat vegetables and resort to techniques such as batch cooking, very fashionable, to prepare healthy dishes available all week. " It is also good to avoid car and screens as much as possible, as they favor a sedentary lifestyle. And, although exercise is always good and intensity favors weight loss, García believes that given the limitations of obese people it is preferable "to increase the number of sessions and their duration to moderate intensities, since they present a greater risk of injury due to overload or lack of mobility and balance."