Is your ‘western diet’ the reason for overeating and obesity?
A number of studies have shown that food rich and high in sugars and processed food is responsible for obesity
What is a Western diet?
Typically, a western diet is high and rich on red meat, saturated fats and sugars. There is little fibre involved in this type of diet.
David Tilman, an Ecology professor at the University of Minnesota examined information from 100 countries to identify what people ate and how diet affects health in a study. According to CNN, “People around the world, as incomes go up, choose more calories and meat in their diet. Also, on the rise is access to, and consumption of, processed foods. Processed foods have low nutritional value," Tilman said.
Western Diet and Overeating: Gives you a high, according to researchers
A study published in the journal of Physiology and Behaviour has shown that “chronic consumption of a western diet leads to overeating and obesity due to elevations in "peripheral endocannabinoid is signalling.”
Basically, it makes you feel high and happy, much like if you were to smoke a substance, and have massive cravings thereafter.
“Researchers at the University of California Riverside state overeating foods high in sugar and fat enhances the endocannabinoid signals because your 'reward system' is being triggered,” reported the DailyMail.
This theory was tested between two sets of mice – one on the Western diet, and the other on a low fat and sugar diet, and they were monitored over the next 60 days. Sure enough, the Western diet mice put on weight, and even became obese. They consumed larger meals and more calories. But researchers are yet to determine if humans will have the same response. Dr DiPatrizio said, “We don't just have to use drugs to fight obesity. If we can figure out what component of the Western diet - which fats, which sugars - are causing the overeating, then maybe we can implement a form of dietary intervention and get these foods out of our diets.”
Indians and Obesity: India is the third country after the US and China where obesity is concerned. It is a growing epidemic, and that is a cause for worry. In India, women are more obese than men.
The WSJ reports, “There were 20 million obese women in India in 2014 compared with 9.8 million obese men, according to a study published in the British medical journal, the Lancet. The study, comparing body-mass index from 1975 to 2014 from adults in 186 countries showed middle- and poorer-income countries like China, India and Brazil jumped in rankings when it came to obesity although India and China also have the most underweight citizens in the world.”
Sedentary lifestyles, disposable income and urbanisation are the reasons for obesity on the rise. This leads to diseases, especially diabetes among others.