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The Need to Address Obesogenic Environments to Solve the Obesity Problem

There’s a continuing prevalence of obesity in societies that have transitioned to lifestyles of consuming too many calories that only get stored and not burned. Apparently the factors driving obesity in communities are contributing to the development of toxic, obesogenic environments. Here, government and civic programs being launched to combat obesity have not been effective. If that is the case, another way to address the obesity epidemic is to modify the environment.

Location and socio-economic status are primary determinants of obesogenic environments, where the availability and capability to obtain high calorie foods do not require engaging in high levels of activity. Such conditions strengthen the belief that obesity is largely an environmental issue. While promotions of healthy human lifestyles and proper nutrition must continue, obesogenic factors not compatible with such goals must be reduced if not removed.

Examples on How Obesogenic Environments are Modified

Australia, a high-income country for one, has launched national intervention actions that largely employ strategies of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and preventing obesity by way of individual-level approaches. At the same time, Australian health authorities recognize the need to implement actions for addressing the ‘obesogenic’ influences present in modern environments, especially those that encourage high calorie intakes combined with sedentary dispositions.

While Australian regions and territories are hosts to multiple fast food outlets, customers must walk some distance to access such establishments. This forces consumers to immediately burn calorie intakes to prevent fat absorption. This indicates that obesity is recognized as a problem with interconnected and complex causes, rather than a simple cause-and-effect condition of unhealthy promotions of high-calorie foods.

In the US in the state of Maryland, the City of Baltimore is using a systems approach in preventing and controlling obesity. City planners and health officials have mapped out the major causes of obesity and the associations that link them. After which, computer models were created to represent children’s interactions with the common causes of obesity. The model breaks down data by age, gender, weight, height and food preferences, from healthy to non-healthy choices.

The model is then used as basis for designing, implementing and testing various programs for interventions such as advertisements for healthy eating, conducting cooking classes, and of giving incentives for businesses to promote healthy food products.

As an alternative strategy in addressing the global obesity problem, the alternative approach is to focus on small but achievable changes in diets, physical activities and lifestyles. Doing so initiates weight management and prevention of weight gain that would make weight reduction easier to achieve, The small reductions approach is backed by supporting data showing conscious collective efforts to reduce caloric intakes by increasing physical activities resulting in reduction of excessive weight.

The small-change approach can also apply to how consumers of weight loss supplements consider the efficiency of their chosen brand. However, it’s also important to read up on genuine reviews as some are basically promotional materials. Modere trim reviews for one, are being countered by unbiased reviews that there is no conclusive scientific data supporting the brand’s use of conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) as active weight-reducing ingredient.