- Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, at least 300 million of them obese.
- Obesity and overweight pose a major risk for chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and certain forms of cancer.
- The key causes are increased consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity.
What can we do about our consumption of energy-dense foods high in saturated fats and sugars, and reduced physical activity?
- Effective weight management for individuals and groups at risk of developing obesity involves a range of long-term strategies.
These include prevention, weight maintenance, management of co-morbidities and weight loss.
They should be part of an integrated, multi-sectoral, population-based approach, which includes environmental support for healthy diets and regular physical activity.
What do the key elements for general fat reduction include:
- Creating supportive population-based environments through public policies that promote the availability and accessibility of a variety of low-fat, high-fiber foods, and that provide opportunities for physical activity.
- Promoting healthy behaviors to encourage, motivate and enable individuals to lose weight by: - eating more fruit and vegetables, as well as nuts and whole grains;
- engaging in daily moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes;
- cutting the amount of fatty, sugary foods in the diet;
- moving from saturated animal-based fats to unsaturated vegetable-oil based fats.
- Mounting a clinical response to the existing burden of obesity and associated conditions through clinical programs and staff training to ensure effective support for those affected to lose weight or avoid further weight gain.
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