How to prevent obesity

Facts about prevention

Obesity is a chronic disease affecting increasing numbers of children, teens and adults. Obesity rates among children in the U.S. have doubled since 1980 and have tripled for teens. About 17% of children aged 2 to 19 are considered obese, compared to over 35% of adults who are considered obese.

Earlier onset of type 2 diabetes, heart and blood vessel disease, and obesity-related depression and social isolation in children and teens are being seen more often by healthcare professionals. The longer a person is obese, the more significant obesity-related risk factors become. Given the chronic diseases and conditions associated with obesity and the fact that obesity is hard to treat, prevention is extremely important.

A primary reason that prevention of obesity is so vital in children is because the likelihood of childhood obesity persisting into adulthood increases as the child ages. This puts the person at high risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Infants

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the CDC, breastfed babies are less likely to become overweight. The CDC also reports that the longer babies are breastfed, the less likely they are to become overweight as they grow older. However, many formula-fed babies grow up to be adults of healthy weight. If your child was not breastfed, it does not mean that he or she cannot achieve a healthy weight.

Children and teens

Young people generally become overweight or obese because of poor eating habits and lack of physical activity. Genetics and lifestyle also contribute to a child’s weight status.

Recommendations for prevention of overweight and obesity during childhood and teens include:

Gradually work to change family eating habits and activity levels rather than focusing on a child’s weight.

Be a role model. Parents who eat healthy foods and participate in physical activity set an example so that a child is more likely to do the same.

Encourage physical activity. Children should have 60 minutes of moderate physical activity most days of the week. More than 60 minutes of activity may promote weight loss and provide weight maintenance.

Reduce “screen” time in front of the television and computer to less than 1 to 2 hours daily.

Encourage children to eat only when hungry and to eat slowly.

Don’t use food as a reward or withhold food as a punishment.

Keep the refrigerator stocked with fat-free or low-fat milk, fresh fruit, and vegetables instead of soft drinks and snacks high in sugar and fat.

Serve at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

Encourage children to drink water rather than beverages with added sugar. These include soft drinks, sports drinks, and fruit juice drinks.

Adults

Many of the strategies that produce successful weight loss and maintenance help prevent obesity. Improving eating habits and increasing physical activity play a vital role in preventing obesity. Recommendations for adults include:

Keep a food diary of what you ate, where you ate, and how you were feeling before and after you ate.

Eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. A vegetable serving is 1 cup of raw vegetables or 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables or vegetable juice. A fruit serving is 1 piece of small to medium fresh fruit, 1/2 cup of canned or fresh fruit or fruit juice, or 1/4 cup of dried fruit.

Choose whole grain foods, such as brown rice and whole wheat bread. Don’t eat highly processed foods made with refined white sugar, flour, high-fructose corn syrup and saturated fat.

Weigh and measure food to be able to learn correct portion sizes. For example, a 3-ounce serving of meat is the size of a deck of cards. Don’t order supersized menu items.

Learn to read food nutrition labels and use them, keep the number of portions you are really eating in mind.

Balance the food “checkbook.” If you eat more calories than you burn you will gain weight. Weigh yourself on a weekly basis.

Don’t eat foods that are high in “energy density,” or that have a lot of calories in a small amount of food. For example, an average cheeseburger with and order of fries can have as much as 1,000 calories and 30 or more grams of fat. By ordering a grilled chicken sandwich or a plain hamburger and a small salad with low-fat dressing, you can avoid hundreds of calories and eliminate much of the fat intake. For dessert, have a serving of fruit, yogurt, a small piece of angel food cake, or a piece of dark chocolate instead of frosted cake, ice cream, or pie.

Simply reducing portion sizes and using a smaller plate can help you lose weight.

Aim for an average of 60 to 90 minutes or more of moderate to intense physical activity 3 to 4 days each week. Examples of moderate intensity exercise are walking a 15-minute mile, or weeding and hoeing a garden. Running or playing singles tennis are examples of more intense activities.

Look for ways to get even 10 or 15 minutes of some type of activity during the day. Walking around the block or up and down a few flights of stairs is a good start.

An increasing number of Americans are becoming overweight, which can lead to many serious health problems, even premature death. Here’s how to escape the epidemic.

How to prevent obesity

As we continue to modernize our lifestyles — riding instead of walking, working in a cubicle instead of in a field, playing iPods instead of sports — more people are becoming overweight and, worse, obese. In fact, there are so many overweight and obese people that some public health officials now call it an epidemic, particularly because of the many resulting health problems.

Obesity: A Worldwide Problem

Around the world, more than one billion adults are overweight and about 300 million of them are obese. In the United States, 66 percent of all adults are overweight and, of those, 32 percent are obese.

Obesity levels in Japan and some African nations are below 5 percent, but they’re rising. Obesity rates in China overall are not high, but in some of that country’s larger cities, rates are up 20 percent.

Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, too. The number of overweight children in the United States has doubled since 1980, and for teens, it’s tripled. And the problem with children is now a global issue as well.

Obesity: Why It’s Happening

Although your genes play a role in your body weight, there are other factors involved. In many places around the world, particularly the United States, we have plenty of nutrient-rich food to eat and easy access to fattening fast foods and sweets. Also, because of our modern lifestyles, we are not as active as we once were. The end result: We’re eating more calories than we can burn.

Being overweight or obese can cause a whole cascade of health problems, from heart disease and diabetes to stroke and even some types of cancer. These diseases can seriously impact a person’s quality of life and lead to premature death.

Obesity: How It Differs From Being Overweight

Obesity and overweight are terms used to describe a level of excess weight that’s considered unhealthy for your body size. One way to determine if you are overweight or obese is to figure out your body mass index (BMI), a calculation you make by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters (kg/m2). Don’t worry — you don’t have to do the math; you can find BMI calculators online.

Note that for adults:

  • A BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight
  • A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese

When assessing teens and children, BMIs that are higher than normal weight ranges have other labels, such as “at risk of overweight” and “overweight.” Also, health professionals take into account the differences in body fat between boys and girls as well as changes in body fat at different ages.

Obesity: Finding a Solution

Getting our obesity and overweight epidemic under control will involve more than just telling everyone to go on a diet. The World Health Organization says it requires an integrated approach that includes:

  • Promoting healthy eating habits and encouraging exercise
  • Developing public policies that promote access to healthy, low-fat, high-fiber foods
  • Training healthcare professionals so that they can effectively support people who need to lose weight and help others avoid gaining weight

Here’s what you can do to lose weight or avoid becoming overweight or obese:

  • Eat more fruit, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
  • Exercise, even moderately, for at least 30 minutes a day.
  • Cut down your consumption of fatty and sugary foods.
  • Use vegetable-based oils rather than animal-based fats.

So walk a little more, eat a little less — and do what you need to do to maintain a healthy BMI.

Learn more in the Everyday Health Healthy Living Center.

A conversation between Dr. Richard Besser, RWJF president and CEO, and Jamie Bussel, senior program officer

On October 14, 2020, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic. In this video, Dr. Besser and Jamie Bussel talk about childhood obesity, COVID-19, income disparities, and what the country needs to do to address these interwoven challenges. Watch the video and read the lightly edited transcript that follows.

Jamie Bussel: Today, we’re really excited to be releasing our second annual report, State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic. And I’m thrilled to have our President and CEO, Dr. Rich Besser, here with me to discuss the report. Hi, Rich.

Rich Besser: Hey, Jamie, it’s great to see you remotely and to have a chance to talk about the report. What are the data showing us?

Jamie Bussel: The newest data are from a survey of children between the ages of 10 and 17 and what it shows us is that 15% of kids in this age range have obesity. That’s a number that’s remained pretty consistent over the last couple of years. In addition, we continue to see stark and deep disparities across race and income. And interestingly, and not surprisingly, a lot of the disparities that we’re seeing are also being mimicked by the kinds of disparities that we’re seeing with the COVID epidemic. So, I’d love Rich to sort of hear from your perspective, how you’re thinking about that. Kind of the intersection or almost the reinforcing of one issue, one crisis, with the other.

Rich Besser: What you’re saying in terms of the obesity data in America and the disparities and what we’ve been seeing over time really resonates with what’s taking place around COVID. Because while obesity hits every racial and ethnic group and every income group, it doesn’t hit each group equally. And that’s what we’re seeing with COVID. And when you think about why that is, there are a number of different factors. Some have to do with exposure but so much has to do with opportunities to make healthy choices. If you live in communities where the jobs that are available to you require face-to-face interaction and are lower paying jobs then the likelihood is that you’re going to have to go to work if you want to put food on the table and want to pay the rent.

So that increases the risk. The overlap between groups that are being hit hardest for COVID and the disparities that you’re laying out for obesity show there are real parallels there. And it calls out the importance of not just lifting up these disparities, but framing it around opportunities. Who has opportunities for healthy eating and for healthy activities and for the types of behaviors that will reduce the risk for obesity?

Jamie Bussel: So Rich, on that, because I think this conversation could be a bit gloomy, but I’m definitely a person that sees the glass half-full and so I’d love to chat a little bit about what gives you hope and optimism. I know for me, and there are some incredible stories embedded in the new report that really lift up extraordinary people, extraordinary leaders on the front lines doing things that are transformative for people, for kids, for families, without actually the supportive policies or big resources and investments. So I think for me those are incredible beacons of hope.

Rich Besser: There are a number of things that give me hope. I get hope from the humanitarian outpouring that we’ve seen during COVID. You know, in response to hunger, people stepping up and providing more support for food banks and other ways of getting food out to people. And that’s terrific. What I want to see though, longer term, is the support for the policies that, if put in place, will mean that in the next crisis, or everyday for so many Americans, we won’t need so many food banks because we will have jobs that pay a living wage so people can buy healthy food. We will break down the barriers that keep our communities so segregated that prevent people from having opportunity. And I think that we are at a moment in our history where because of this crisis, because of the pandemic of coronavirus, and the devastation from this economic downturn and the spreading and rising and the inspirational movement for racial justice that we can see policy changes that truly change the nature of our communities. We can make our communities really communities of opportunity and not communities that lead to the health consequences that we’re talking about today.

Jamie Bussel: Rich, I love that idea, the notion of communities of opportunities. Maybe I’ll just close by saying that I think our Foundation’s commitment to preventing childhood obesity is really a commitment to ensuring that every child in this country, every family, has a fair and just opportunity to live the best, healthiest life possible.

I remain incredibly hopeful and I’m thrilled that you took some time out today to chat with me about the forthcoming report.

Rich Besser: Well said Jamie. Thanks for sharing all that you’re doing around childhood obesity and around this report. I hope you are well and stay well. Great talking to you.

Jamie Bussel: Thank you. You too. Thanks, Rich.

To reverse the obesity epidemic, places and practices need to support healthy eating and active living in many settings. Below are recommended strategies to prevent obesity.

Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Strategies

The CDC Guide to Strategies to Increase Physical Activity in the Community Cdc-pdf [PDF-1.2MB] provides guidance for program managers, policy makers, and others on how to select strategies to increase physical activity.

Physical Activity: Built Environment Approaches Combining Transportation System Interventions with Land Use and Environmental Design External
The Community Preventive Services Task Force recommends built environment strategies that combine one or more interventions to improve pedestrian or bicycle transportation systems with one or more land use and environmental design interventions to increase physical activity.

The CDC Guide to Strategies to Increase the Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables Cdc-pdf [PDF-2.1MB] provides guidance for program managers, policy makers, and others on how to select strategies to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions provides state and local community members information to choose the breastfeeding intervention strategy that best meets their needs.

Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States Cdc-pdf [PDF-376KB] contains 24 recommended obesity prevention strategies focusing on environmental and policy level change initiatives that can be implemented by local governments and school districts to promote healthy eating and active living.

  • Implementation and Measurement Guide Cdc-pdf [PDF-2.6MB] can help communities implement the recommended obesity prevention strategies and report on the associated measurements.
  • Healthy Communities: What Local Governments Can Do to Reduce and Prevent Obesity Cdc-ppt [PPT-8.5MB] is a presentation developed for use by local government staff that makes the case for investing in CDC’s Recommended Community Strategies and Measurements to Prevent Obesity in the United States Cdc-pdf [PDF – 375KB] . Also available in a PDF version Cdc-pdf [PDF-3.8MB] .

Early Care and Education Strategies

CDC’s framework for obesity prevention, in the ECE setting is known as the Spectrum of Opportunities Cdc-pdf [PDF-666KB] . The Spectrum identifies ways that states, and to some extent communities, can support child care and early education facilities to achieve recommended standards and best practices for obesity prevention. The Spectrum aligns with comprehensive national ECE standards for obesity prevention address nutrition, infant feeding, physical activity and screen time, Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards (CFOC), 3rd ed. Cdc-pdf [PDF-4.71MB] External

School Health Guidelines

School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity provides nine guidelines that serve as the foundation for developing, implementing, and evaluating school-based healthy eating and physical activity policies and practices for students in grades K-12.

The following resources are designed to assist schools and program coordinators to inform stakeholders and school health services staff on obesity facts, engaging students and managing chronic health conditions.

Community Guide

The Community Guide – Obesity Prevention and Control External is a free resource to help you choose programs and policies to prevent and control obesity in your community.

Clinical Guidelines

Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents Cdc-pdf [PDF-3.26MB] External This resource summarizes the integrated guidelines develop by the Federal Government to address cardiovascular disease in children and adolescents.

Screening for Obesity in Pediatric Primary Care: Recommendations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force External Guidance for primary care providers in screening for obesity and offering or referring to comprehensive, intensive behavioral weight management interventions.

Expert Committee Recommendations External The American Academy of Pediatrics released the Expert Committee Recommendations that suggest screening all children for obesity (>=2 years) and providing tiers of care regarding the treatment and prevention of obesity.

2013 Guideline on the Assessment of Cardiovascular Risk External This is a Report of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

In the United States, the number of children with obesity has continued to rise over the past two decades. Obesity in childhood poses immediate and future health risks.

Parents, guardians, and teachers can help children maintain a healthy weight by helping them develop healthy eating habits and limiting calorie-rich temptations. You also want to help children be physically active, have reduced screen time, and get adequate sleep.

The goal for children who are overweight is to reduce the rate of weight gain while allowing normal growth and development. Children should NOT be placed on a weight reduction diet without the consultation of a health care provider.

Develop healthy eating habits

How to prevent obesity

To help children develop healthy eating habits:

  • Provide plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain products.
  • Include low-fat or non-fat milk or dairy products, including cheese and yogurt.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, fish, lentils, and beans for protein.
  • Encourage your family to drink lots of water.
  • Limit sugary drinks.
  • Limit consumption of sugar and saturated fat.

Remember that small changes every day can lead to success!

Limit calorie-rich temptations

How to prevent obesity

Reducing the availability of high-fat and high-sugar or salty snacks can help your children develop healthy eating habits. Only allow your children to eat these foods rarely, so that they truly will be treats! Here are examples of easy-to-prepare, low-fat and low-sugar snacks that are 100 calories or less:

  • 1 cup carrots, broccoli, or bell peppers with 2 tablespoons hummus.
  • A medium apple or banana.
  • 1 cup blueberries or grapes.
  • One-fourth cup of tuna wrapped in a lettuce leaf.
  • A few homemade oven-baked kale chips.

Help children stay active

How to prevent obesity

In addition to being fun for children, regular physical activity has many health benefits, including:

  • Strengthening bones.
  • Decreasing blood pressure.
  • Reducing stress and anxiety.
  • Increasing self-esteem.
  • Helping with weight management.

Children ages 3 through 5 years should be active throughout the day. Children and adolescents ages 6 through 17 years should be physically active at least 60 minutes each day. Include aerobic activity, which is anything that makes their hearts beat faster. Also include bone-strengthening activities such as running or jumping and muscle-strengthening activities such as climbing or push-ups. See details.

Remember that children imitate adults. Start adding physical activity to your own routine and encourage your child to join you.

Reduce sedentary time

Although quiet time for reading and homework is fine, limit the time children watch television, play video games, or surf the web to no more than 2 hours per day. Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend television viewing for children aged 2 years or younger. Instead, encourage children to find fun activities to do with family members or on their own that simply involve more activity. See the Screen Time Vs Lean Time.

Ensure adequate sleep

Too little sleep external icon is associated with obesity, partly because inadequate sleep makes us eat more and be less physically active. Children need more sleep than adults, and the amount varies by age. See the recommended amounts of sleep and suggested habits to improve sleep.

BAM! Body and Mind
Classroom resources for teachers of grades 4 through 8 to help students make healthier lifestyle choices.
Best Bones Forever! external icon
Children learn why calcium, vitamin D, and bone-strengthening activity are essential.
Blast Off Game external icon
Children learn what it takes to blast off in the food pyramid space shuttle!
Child and Teen BMI (Body Mass Index) Calculator
For children, BMI screens for obesity, but it is not a diagnostic tool. See more about BMI for children and teens.
Childhood Overweight and Obesity
How obesity is defined for children, prevalence, associated factors, and related health consequences.
How to Avoid Portion Size Pitfalls
Confused about portion sizes? Play the CDC’s portion control game!
My Plate Kids Place external icon
Includes games, activity sheets, videos, and songs.
Physical Activity for Everyone
Physical activity recommendations by age.
We Can! external icon
National education program designed for adults to help children aged 8 to 13 years old stay at a healthy weight.

A conversation between Dr. Richard Besser, RWJF president and CEO, and Jamie Bussel, senior program officer

On October 14, 2020, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic. In this video, Dr. Besser and Jamie Bussel talk about childhood obesity, COVID-19, income disparities, and what the country needs to do to address these interwoven challenges. Watch the video and read the lightly edited transcript that follows.

Jamie Bussel: Today, we’re really excited to be releasing our second annual report, State of Childhood Obesity: Prioritizing Children’s Health During the Pandemic. And I’m thrilled to have our President and CEO, Dr. Rich Besser, here with me to discuss the report. Hi, Rich.

Rich Besser: Hey, Jamie, it’s great to see you remotely and to have a chance to talk about the report. What are the data showing us?

Jamie Bussel: The newest data are from a survey of children between the ages of 10 and 17 and what it shows us is that 15% of kids in this age range have obesity. That’s a number that’s remained pretty consistent over the last couple of years. In addition, we continue to see stark and deep disparities across race and income. And interestingly, and not surprisingly, a lot of the disparities that we’re seeing are also being mimicked by the kinds of disparities that we’re seeing with the COVID epidemic. So, I’d love Rich to sort of hear from your perspective, how you’re thinking about that. Kind of the intersection or almost the reinforcing of one issue, one crisis, with the other.

Rich Besser: What you’re saying in terms of the obesity data in America and the disparities and what we’ve been seeing over time really resonates with what’s taking place around COVID. Because while obesity hits every racial and ethnic group and every income group, it doesn’t hit each group equally. And that’s what we’re seeing with COVID. And when you think about why that is, there are a number of different factors. Some have to do with exposure but so much has to do with opportunities to make healthy choices. If you live in communities where the jobs that are available to you require face-to-face interaction and are lower paying jobs then the likelihood is that you’re going to have to go to work if you want to put food on the table and want to pay the rent.

So that increases the risk. The overlap between groups that are being hit hardest for COVID and the disparities that you’re laying out for obesity show there are real parallels there. And it calls out the importance of not just lifting up these disparities, but framing it around opportunities. Who has opportunities for healthy eating and for healthy activities and for the types of behaviors that will reduce the risk for obesity?

Jamie Bussel: So Rich, on that, because I think this conversation could be a bit gloomy, but I’m definitely a person that sees the glass half-full and so I’d love to chat a little bit about what gives you hope and optimism. I know for me, and there are some incredible stories embedded in the new report that really lift up extraordinary people, extraordinary leaders on the front lines doing things that are transformative for people, for kids, for families, without actually the supportive policies or big resources and investments. So I think for me those are incredible beacons of hope.

Rich Besser: There are a number of things that give me hope. I get hope from the humanitarian outpouring that we’ve seen during COVID. You know, in response to hunger, people stepping up and providing more support for food banks and other ways of getting food out to people. And that’s terrific. What I want to see though, longer term, is the support for the policies that, if put in place, will mean that in the next crisis, or everyday for so many Americans, we won’t need so many food banks because we will have jobs that pay a living wage so people can buy healthy food. We will break down the barriers that keep our communities so segregated that prevent people from having opportunity. And I think that we are at a moment in our history where because of this crisis, because of the pandemic of coronavirus, and the devastation from this economic downturn and the spreading and rising and the inspirational movement for racial justice that we can see policy changes that truly change the nature of our communities. We can make our communities really communities of opportunity and not communities that lead to the health consequences that we’re talking about today.

Jamie Bussel: Rich, I love that idea, the notion of communities of opportunities. Maybe I’ll just close by saying that I think our Foundation’s commitment to preventing childhood obesity is really a commitment to ensuring that every child in this country, every family, has a fair and just opportunity to live the best, healthiest life possible.

I remain incredibly hopeful and I’m thrilled that you took some time out today to chat with me about the forthcoming report.

Rich Besser: Well said Jamie. Thanks for sharing all that you’re doing around childhood obesity and around this report. I hope you are well and stay well. Great talking to you.

Jamie Bussel: Thank you. You too. Thanks, Rich.

The best way to prevent obesity and overweight is to know the factors responsible for weight gain. This will help to avoid the conditions that can contribute to obesity. For most people, obesity and overweight are caused by not having energy balance.

You get energy or calories from food and drinks. This energy is called energy IN. Your body needs a certain amount of energy for activities like breathing, digesting, and being physically active. This energy is called energy OUT. When energy IN is more than energy OUT, you gain weight. In the similar way when the energy OUT is more that energy IN, you lose weight. If you want to maintain the same weight, your energy IN and OUT should be equal.
Obesity definitely runs in families. Furthermore, identical twins usually maintain weight levels within two pounds of each other throughout life if they live under similar conditions or within five pounds of each other if their conditions of life differ markedly.
This might result partly from eating habits engendered during childhood, but it is generally believed that this close similarly between twins is genetically controlled.

The genes can direct the degree of feeding in several different ways including a genetic abnormality of the feeding center to set the level of nutrient storage high or low, abnormal hereditary psychic factors that either whet the appetite or cause the person to eat as a ‘release’ mechanism.

Childhood over-nutrition is also important factor responsible for obesity. The rate of formation of new fat cells is especially rapid in the first few years of life, and the greater the rate of fat storage the greater also becomes the number of fat cells. In obese children the number of fat cells is often as much as three times that that in normal children. However, after adolescence the number of fat cells remains almost identically the same throughout the remainder of life. Therefore, it has been suggested that overfeeding the children, especially in infancy and to a lesser extend during the older years of childhood, can lead to a lifetime of obesity. The person who has excess fat cells is though to have a higher setting of fat storage by the hypothalamic feedback auto regulatory mechanism for adipose tissues. In less obese persons, especially those who become obese in middle or old age, most of the obesity results from hyperbiophy (enlargement) of already existing fat cells. This type of obesity is far more susceptible to treatment than is the life long type. An interesting peculiarity of this type of obesity is that these persons have excess secretion of insulin, similar to the excess insulin secretion that occurs in animals with lesions in the ventromedial nuclei of the hypothalamus.

How to prevent obesity

Obesity is becoming a rampant problem in India. Over 5% of India’s population is now morbidly obese. On the bright side, the government is promoting fitness initiatives such as Hum Fit Toh India Fit. The average citizen is increasingly adopting a healthier diet and regular exercise. If you are concerned about your health and want to stave off the excess calories, Here are 6 tips you could use to prevent obesity.

Burn the calories you eat

The secret to not gaining excess weight is burning as many calories as you consume. Maintain a healthy balance between regular exercise and a healthy diet. In simple terms, The body should have a Calorie deficit to burn fat and lose the excess weight. If you have an intake of 2000 calories a day, you must burn more than 2000 calories to lose weight. You can track your Calorie intake and output with the help of the HealthifyMe app. Maintaining your calorie intake and output will help maintain a healthy body and prevent obesity.

Do your diet right

Diet is an essential part of your fight against obesity. It is advisable to consume vegetable oils like soybean or canola oil rather than animal-based fats like lard since they are rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Vegetable oils contain less saturated fatty acids and no cholesterol. In addition to that, opt for foods that are rich in fibre like dried beans and raw vegetables. They also help maintain a healthy gut system which, in turn, enhances the absorption of nutrients slowly throughout the day after meals.

Maintain a food diary

A food diary is a useful way of keeping track of the intake of food and a number of calories consumed. Consult with your nutritionist and work out what diet is the best for you. Use a food diary to follow this plan religiously.

How to prevent obesity

Track your BMI

For Indians, a Body Mass Index of 18-22.9 is ideal; 23-24.9 indicates overweight and anything above 25 implies obesity. Keep your weight in check and maintain it as per your height to keep the BMI within the ideal limit. This would go a long way in keeping obesity away.

Pay attention to food labels

According to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India(FSSAI), a food product with less than 40 calories per 100g of the food is termed low-calorie food. Make sure to read the labels on your food products and select low-fat, high-fibre and low-cal food.

How to prevent obesity

Say no to refined foods

Refined foods like refined white sugar and refined white salt should be avoided. They are rich in simple carbohydrates that are easily absorbed by the body and stored as fat. Limiting the intake of refined foods will help in long-term weight management.

To summarize, to stave off obesity, you must keep a calorie deficit, track your diet, maintain a healthy diet of vegetables, fibre and saturated fats. You should also exercise regularly and keep away from Refined foods. With these 6 tips at your fingertips, combatting obesity should be a lot easier.