MyDoc Tuesday Tips: Are you living in an obesogenic environment?
What is an obesogenic environment?
An obesogenic environment is defined a the sum of influences that the surroundings, opportunities, or conditions of life have on promoting obesity in individuals or populations. Recent studies indicate an association between an individual’s lifestyle and weight to their neighbourhood environment (Papas, et al., 2007). From these studies, it is evident that obesity is driven in part by food and physical environment
Beware of these obesogenic environments that might be the contributing factors to obesity:
1. Ease of getting food
Food is present almost everywhere resulting in an environment that is constantly inviting you to eat (too much), all the time. The ease of obtaining them from vending machines, takeaways, cafes, restaurants, supermarkets, and convenience stores also increase the chance of consuming high-calorie food.
2. Too much screen time
After work do you sit for more than 2 hours watching television, scrolling phone, playing mobile games rather or rather go for a run? The number of time you spend in front of a screen has a high correlation to weight gain. Exercising for less than 30 minutes five times a week and/or a daily step count less than 10000 is a sign of sedentary or inactive lifestyle.
3. Oversized portions
Studies have shown that portion sizes of numerous energy-dense food have become the standard nowadays. Especially meals eaten in an out-of-home environment are much larger than the recommended portion size which leads to higher energy intake and higher obesity rate.
4. Inconsistent lifestyle
Too little or too much sleep affects your hormone and might leads you to crave for high calorie, high carbohydrate or high sugar foods. Stress eating is also one of the causes that leads to weight gain as those experiencing emotional eating tend to consume calorie dense food in large portions. Long intervals between meals due to work also lead to either eating large portions as the next meal or choosing high fat or high sugar snacks on the go leading to a higher intake of calories.