The obesity pandemic has been a silent killer among Filipinos for decades now. The obesity rate in the Philippines 2020* has reached about 3 among 10 adult Filipinos. That is already a very alarming number because obesity is the precursor to many lifestyle diseases. Here are some simple health tips to fight the obesity pandemic in order to achieve healthier bodies and minds.
The Obesity Pandemic Among the Adult Population
The obvious effect of obesity can be seen, because our human bodies literally balloon. But there are also unseen detrimental mental effects, such as reduced self-esteem, mood swings, and depression.
While many people took to wellness during the pandemic last year, many people also went into stress-eating mode. The reasons are either depression, anxiety, or boredom during the lockdown. Moreover, there is a boom in the work from home practice due to Covid-19 and people have been staying in one place to sleep, work, and eat.
I am one of the latter group and the result is an unprecedented weight gain of 12 lbs. in just 3 months! Not good.
- Related: How I Lost 10 Lbs.
Attending the talk by Dr. Rocio Medina, Vice Chairwoman of Herbalife Nutrition, I sort of “woke up” to the dangerous reality. The fact is that, I am now overweight and it is not a good thing.
And I am not the only one.
Megatrends in the Philippines Today
At present, the Philippines is dealing with three critical megatrends. And this is already on top of the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Related: Prepare Your Kids for the New Normal
Being Overweight and Obesity
For almost a year now, many have adjusted to staying at home and the sedentary lifestyle, which has resulted in weight gain and even obesity.
Obesity is not just about being overweight but it affects all our faculties—including our minds and psyches. Moreover, this health condition overworks our entire system and hastens the aging of the whole body.
High cost of healthcare
Along with all the problems that the obesity pandemic brings is its impact on our personal finances or family budget. Being overweight is the precursor to many lifestyle diseases like diabetes, fatty liver, kidney disease, heart ailments, or hypertension.
All of these require critical care and treatment and can be very expensive.
Simple Tips to Fight the Obesity Pandemic
Dr. Rocio Medina shares simple tips in order to right the obesity pandemic among the Filipino population. She advised against the word “diet” because she said that many people are averse t to it and it sounds like just a temporary solution.
However, here are some simple tips that can be done by everyone. The doctor said that these are much easier and more sustainable steps to fight the obesity pandemic.
- Avoid simple carbs. Reduce the intake of simple carbs, especially rice. These can be really heavy on the digestive system, plus eating too much can spike blood sugar levels. If you love rice, you don’t have to remove it altogether, just reduce your serving portions. You may also replace it with healthier alternatives like cauli rice, quinoa, or adlai. Another good alternative that’s high in fiber and nutrients is the coarse bulgur wheat.
- Consume plant products. Eat more plant-based food items in your diet. It is best to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Also, include servings of roasted nuts because these are good sources of proteins and healthy fats.
- Move that body. Engage in some physical activity every day. All it takes is just 15 hours a week to keep the body fit and healthy — though not exactly slim.
- Focus on little steps. Little changes in our diets and physical activities can go a long way. For example, replacing one meal with a healthy shake will already reduce your caloric intake. Instead of just watching TV immediately after dinner, take a short walk in your garden. That’s a good way to de-stress and also help in digestion.
- Accountability. Find another person who will help you in your commitment to your fitness journey. An accountability partner will help you reach your fitness goals.
Let’s all work on ourselves for a more productive and healthier Philippines. We owe that to ourselves and our families.