What happened? The obesity epidemic is not decreasing, but getting more severe, even as more and more of its victims are now of the second generation. According to the World Obesity Foundation today 1 in 7 people are living with a BMI equal to or greater than 30. A BMI that is equal to or greater than 30 is considered obese. If trends continue 1 in 4 people will have obesity by 2035.
It is not just adults that are struggling with being overweight. Childhood obesity is on the rise too.
This is just not a disease that is hitting the rich. Lower income countries are facing a rise in obesity too.
Obesity is not just a health crisis but also an economic crisis.
Your weight can impact brain function. Being overweight in midlife increases your risk for Alzheimer’s disease.
In the United States, almost 6 million individuals are suffering from Alzheimer’s, mostly aged 65 and older, yet the figures of those being affected at an earlier age are rising.
The most worrying health concern to the American public, revealed in the Hartman Group Inc.’s “Health & Wellness 2015” report, is managing their weight. Of the surveyed consumer base, a total of 58% are either seeking methods to prevent or to treat it.
The findings of the “Health & Wellness 2015” investigation showed that, in general, Americans are taking care of an average of 9.6 different health issues, with the majority of them being linked directly or indirectly to being overweight. On average, people are handling 3.4 ailments and attempting to prevent 6.2 others.
A Hartman Group survey found that out of one third of consumers who were trying to avoid gaining weight, 56% favored exercise as the primary option while 54% resorted to diets and 27% to beverages. Even in conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, heart/cardiovascular problems, cancer and high blood pressure, the report revealed that food is a major key in prevention.
The simultaneous and decrease in physical activity and the notable rise in caloric intake (300-500 calories daily) for Americans since the year 1970 have been two of the fundamental factors contributing to obesity. It would be best if people learned to be content with less, but this is unfortunately not realistic for many individuals. This puts satiety at the forefront of weight management.
In the news last year, the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation reported that 6.4 trillion calories had been eliminated from the United States market between 2007 and 2012. This achievement was attributed mostly to controlled portion sizes and healthier snack options. Nevertheless, the recent World Obesity Federation poll suggests that the outcomes may be constrained.
The “Health & Wellness 2015” report by the Hartman Group provides an update on the factors and trends underpinning the demand for healthy food and drinks. It also supplies interesting information about the chances for food and beverage producers, retailers, food service outlets, and restaurants.
It is estimated that billions of dollars are lost as a result of workers taking days off per year due to medical conditions caused by obesity. Additionally, medical expenses are around $1,500 higher per year for each obese individual. The financial implications of this epidemic are extreme (last year, it was reported that obesity-related health conditions could be causing up to 25% of all medical costs), with even the smallest adjustments in figures can lead to thousands of deaths and tens of millions of dollars being spent.
What role do producers of food and drinks play? At the exact center of the platter. Despite sedentary habits and lack of sleep being linked to obesity, managing one’s weight involves more than just the number of calories taken in versus the number of calories burned. It involves layers of metabolic differences. This means that the body may not use or save all calories in the same way, depending on whether it needs to use them as energy immediately or store them up for future use.
It is not meant to be a rude comment saying “why don’t they just restrict their diet” to those who are obese. In modern society, many individuals consume more calories from outside of the home than from home-cooked food, thus making processed food a crucial part of their daily diet.
Type 2 diabetes is the most detrimental consequence of having an excess of weight. It is not possible to say that all diabetes is a result of obesity, and not all overweight individuals experience difficulties regulating their blood sugar levels, but the correlation between being overweight and developing diabetes is extremely strong according to scientific data.
The prevalence of diabetes has risen noticeably since 1994, with approximately 13-14% of the population currently affected. This sharp increase is observed among all ages, races, ethnicities, genders, educational backgrounds, and income levels. In under two decades, there has been a climb of 26%, which is quite concerning considering the devastating and possibly fatal results—not to mention the additional expenditure—that accompanies managing and regulating diabetes.
Although it’s uncertain which came first, insulin resistance or obesity, most investigations have proven that reducing weight brings about a better sugar concentration in the blood.
Having diabetes is caused by having trouble metabolizing sugar, which is the primary energy source for the mind and body. Therefore, making good choices with carbohydrates can help alleviate both being over- or underweight and having diabetes.
Rhonda Witwer, a chemist and expert in the ingredient industry, explains that maintaining a healthy weight is not a simple process. It’s about making sure that the amount of energy consumed is equal to the amount of energy expended from exercise and basic body functions with any leftover calories being stored as fat. The amount of weight a person has is just a small part of an overall bigger issue called metabolism.
Witwer states that it is more effective to view “weight” and “fat” as indicators of either a metabolic balance or imbalance, claiming that it is difficult to tackle one aspect without affecting others in the system. Nonetheless, she suggests that it is possible to tackle the metabolic imbalance in order to create new food products that target weight control.
MCT – Medium Chain Triglycerides
CLA – Conjugated Linoleic Acid
Who and what was studied?
A total of 19 individuals who considered themselves as healthy, who did not limit their food consumption, who did not partake in intense physical exercise (fewer than 10 hours of strenuous workouts every week), who generally ate breakfast and lunch, and who were not taking any prescribed medicine, were involved in this random, single-blind research. Every individual was assessed in three varied situations over the course of three distinctive days.
Participants were directed to not eat for 12 hours, abstain from hard exercise, limit their consumption of alcoholic drinks and caffeine, and write down what they ate in the 24 hour period before the initial test day. Upon entering the research facility, the participants were divided into three groups and given a Tesco red berries smoothie (123 calories, 0.8 grams of protein, 29.8 grams of carbohydrate) to drink. Group 1 was given five grams of CLA and 16 grams of vegetable oil with the smoothie, Group 2 received 25 grams of MCT, and Group 3 was given 22 grams of vegetable oil. The calories and fat were identical in all three of the smoothies.
The participants were required to take a VAS survey that had questions connected to hunger and satisfaction of fullness before and 30 minutes after they ended their breakfast. This survey was employed to evaluate subjective satiety. The survey was done every 30 minutes until the participants needed food so badly that they asked for lunch. After this, the individual was served and the amount of time which elapsed between breakfast and the request for lunch was noted down.
The lunch was unlimited, allowing the attendees to consume as much food as desired. Every person got six sandwiches divided into three different plates, and they had half an hour to consume their food without being disturbed. The main result of the trial was assessed at lunch through weighing the food on participants’ plates before and after. For the rest of the day, the participants had to keep a written record of their meals.
The same steps of the initial test day were carried out on two additional non-sequential test days. Each person changed to a distinct group so that they were able to have a varied kind of fat with their morning meal. The only difference was that.
Nineteen grown-ups in good health had a breakfast that was different with regards to fat content, which included either a mixture of CLA and vegetable oil, MCT, or just vegetable oil. Participants were then served a buffet-style lunch on-request. Energy consumption was the main result and was tracked both during lunch and for the remainder of the day. The feeling of being full and the amount of time between breakfast and lunch were also tracked as further measures.
What were the findings?
There was no notable variation in the quantity of lunch consumed between each of the groups. The difference in calories ingested by the end of the day varied significantly between the CLA (471 calories), MCT (525 calories), and vegetable oil groups. Both the CLA and MCT groups consumed fewer calories during the day than did the vegetable oil group, with the CLA group consuming 541 calories and the MCT group taking in 594 calories.
On average, the vegetable oil group had the least amount of time between breakfast and lunch (142 minutes) while the CLA group had the longest (182 minutes). The MCT group had an increased delay between their breakfast and lunch compared to the vegetable oil group (which was 25 minutes); however, it was only the difference between the CLA and vegetable oil group (40 minutes) that was considered significant.
The VAS results showed no meaningful distinctions in the level of satisfaction felt after eating breakfast or lunch.
The CLA breakfast group held off on requesting lunch for a longer amount of time, in contrast to the vegetable oil group, however, this contrast only had a significant statistical effect. The MCT and CLA breakfast resulted in individuals eating fewer calories later on and, as an effect, for the duration of the day. By contrast, the vegetable oil breakfast was associated with higher calorie intake. Subjective satiety did not significantly differ between groups.
What does the study really tell us?
The findings of this research point to a decrease in daily calories up to 500 when replacing vegetable oil with MCT or CLA in a morning meal. It is not only supported by numerical data, but this is also of great practical significance, because when you cut down on eating 500 calories a day, you will eventually be able to shed a few pounds. An investigation that only looked at immediate consequences requires examination over a longer period of time before it can be known if this breakfast swap is an effective mechanism for dropping pounds.
In other words, even though the reported results are quite remarkable, it is advisable that a more in-depth analysis be done in order to better understand why this large difference in calorie consumption occurred. It appears the authors are suggesting that postponing lunchtime could result in a decrease in food intake later in the day. However, there may be more to the explanation than just the timing aspect, as the time span between lunches for the MCT group was merely 25 minutes after the vegetable oil group had eaten, yet an additional 40 minutes was needed by the CLA group.
It could be the case that the individuals involved in the study ate less later on in the day due to digestive ailments. Gastrointestinal issues resulting from the ingestion of MCTs have been documented in the past. For this particular test, five individuals said they had side effects due to MCT and one person reported having adverse reactions from CLA.
It could be said that keeping track of what one eats is not a dependable way of assessing the amount of food they take in, as it is possible for individuals to fail to take note of what they eat intentionally or by mistake. Despite it being possible, it doesn’t appear reasonable to assume that the notable 500-calorie discrepancy between the two groups is solely due to inaccuracy in self-reporting when the participants were instructed to measure the food they logged, and they did not know which of the dietary supplements they were taking.
This trial’s findings indicate that no matter why, replacing vegetable oil with MCT or CLA for breakfast can result in a notable decrease of calories consumed during the day.
Still, the study design has several limitations. Despite the fact that the drinks containing various oils had been sampled by a separate group of individuals before the study began to ensure the taste of each breakfast was similar, it is still suggestive that the participants may have perceived which oil was blended into their smoothie, and that could affect the kind of food they chose to consume later in the day. The sample size for this experiment was quite small, which is quite normal for studies involving the immediate effects of eating. There were 19 participants.
Swapping out vegetable oil for MCT or CLA at breakfast time may bring about an effect of a 500 calorie decrease in the amount of food consumed later in the day. The writers look to ascribe this to greater satisfaction, however there might be additional components at work. More research is needed to verify these discoveries and see if the results could be long-lastingly beneficial for weight loss.