Anti Obesity day is celebrated every year to promote awareness about one of the biggest disorders faced by people all over the world. Obesity is a health condition where people gain a lot of weight in a very less time. What makes it worse is, obesity is not just a cosmetic condition, it can also lead to several other health diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain types of cancers.
Reasons for obesity can vary from inherited, physiological, environmental factors, choice of diet and exercise routine. In 2001, Anti Obesity day was kickstarted by an Indian wellness brand VLCC to speak about the health condition and the change in lifestyle and remedies to be followed in order to heal.
With the world grappling with covid pandemic, people have started realising the need of eating healthy and maintaining a balanced lifestyle in order to boost immunity to fight the virus. People have also increasingly started shifting to sugar-free, baked items and gluten-free food to balance the dietary conditions. However, Pranay Jham, Founder and ACSM certified Nutrition Consultant at ACTIVeat, busted the myths that people have regarding a lot of these food items.
Are ‘sugar-free’ items healthy?
Jham, in an interview with Hindustan Times said that sugar-free items use sugar substitutes such as Maltitol, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCP), Dextrose and Fructose. These are packed with calories, and over consumption of the same can affect the health.
Busting the myths of the foods that are advertised to be super-healthy, but can actually make people obese, Jham said the advertising used by marketers of ‘baked not fried’, ‘cholesterol-free’, ‘made with whole wheat’, ‘no added sugar’ products is actually not that transparent. These food items usually use alternatives such as preservatives or deep-fried elements to increase the shelf life. This can also prove harmful for the body and lead to obesity, he says.
Gluten-free doesn’t mean healthy
Jham says that people confuse the term gluten-free with healthy thinking it will not lead to weight gain, which is far from true.
“There is a fair portion of society who have intolerance or sensitivity to gluten which causes bloating and indigestion in them, but it does not affect everyone. Since some bakery products and desserts claim to be gluten-free, people usually start binging which leads to having a higher caloric intake and further leads to weight gain,” he says.
It is important to know and be choosy about the food items that we consume. Even if it’s healthy food, too much consumption can add to obesity and further add to other health problems.