Eating out can increase your risk of being overweight

Research with Spaniards shows that some habits such as eating out can be associated with overweight and obesity.

Eating habits are one of the most important keys to good nutrition. The choice of healthy foods, the distribution of meals throughout the day, the balanced consumption of nutrients, among other options, can be important habits to keep the body in shape.

According to a study carried out by the Spanish Society of Obesity (SEEDO-SEO), with questionnaires on lifestyle habits with Spaniards, people with obesity are the ones who eat breakfast outside the home the most and those who eat the least in the street. Based on the responses in the questionnaire, they also choose to eat fewer vegetables as a main dish or as a side, and always ask for a sweet as dessert instead of fruit.

The president of SEEDO, Francisco Tinahones, explained to the newspaper El País that eating out has become a habit for most Spaniards. About 77% of the nation’s population said they eat one of the three common street foods every day.

“Until now, we have not given much importance to eating out, we did not have data on this habit, but we realized that it has a very important impact,” he says.

Besides habits, other variables are related to weight:

  • Age, showing that older age increases the risk of obesity;
  • Breakfast away from home (increases the risk of obesity by 17.8% compared to eating at home.
  • Having overweight friends or family members (13% increased risk of obesity).
  • Do not eat vegetables or greens as a main dish when eating out (43% increase).
  • Eat sweet desserts (40% of people with obesity have this habit).

On the other hand, research reveals that interviews are difficult to recognize obesity and being overweight when you have it. After interviewing 1,200 people across the country, 54.6% of people who are overweight think they are average and 7.3% think they are thin. The data did not show significant differences between women and men.

Based on these data, SEEDO believes that some steps should be taken to raise awareness about people’s self-perception of weight and eating habits to tackle obesity and related health problems.

FUNIBER sponsors studies for professionals interested in training in the field of nutrition, such as the Specialization in Overweight and Obesity.

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