THE OBESE CHILD IS WORTH ITS WEIGHT IN GOLD

edited by Prof. Nicola Sorrentino, Director of the Columbus Clinic Diet

For the food industry, obesity is considered a real capital. A fat person eats and consumes more than a normal person.

This means that a child even more than an adult is a “weighty” investment with regards to sales prospects. Taking advantage of the psychosocial, biological and economic vulnerability of the buyer, many food industries push the consumption of foods that are not only unhealthy but also of low nutritional value.

French fries, high-calorie snacks, overstuffed hot dogs, sweets, foods rich in salt and creams, in short, the so-called “Junk food” is in the dock not only because it is harmful to health, but also because it makes us pile on extra pounds and has a negative effect on mood.

Italy is becoming a country full of unhealthy, obese people as a result of poor eating habits and an incorrect lifestyle.

Defined by the World Health Organization as one of the major public health problems of the new millennium, obesity is also a social and economic problem. In Western countries it is the second most common preventable cause of death after smoking. Obesity is related to cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, hypertriglyceridemia, type 2 diabetes, gallstones, breathing difficulties, osteoarthritis, etc. Not to mention the development of tumors related to food imbalances. Many studies have concluded that some tumors depend on poor eating habits. About 30% of these tumors are directly attributable to an incorrect diet, in terms of both quantity and quality. Quantity in the sense that obesity and low physical activity are predisposing factors, quality meaning the type of food that we eat. A careful and reasoned choice of the foods we consume can decrease the number of these tumors. Some foods are under attack not only for their nutritional contents, because they are rich in sauces, fats, sugars, salt, calories and unhealthy elements, but also because of their “size and quantity”. There are sandwiches that exceed 1000 calories; sometimes these sandwiches are combined with chips covered with sauces or cheese, sweetened drinks and calories exaggeration on top of exaggeration. Even if all this was divided between two people, the portions would still be greater than those recommended in the context of proper nutrition. The culprits of junk food are, therefore, the quantities, sugars, fats and salt. If we do not change our lifestyle by improving our eating habits and performing regular physical activity the consequences of obesity, in addition to seriously compromising the health and social life of those affected, will increase the healthcare expenditure of our country.

Good growth, efficiency at work, resistance to diseases, quality and duration of life all depend on a correct, balanced diet.