The world is fighting with food. One side of the Earth suffers from hunger and poverty while the other throws food away. Disease caused by food is also increasing for those who have so much of it. The disease that matters the most in the world is obesity. According to United European Gastroenterology Week, in 2016 forty-one million children around the world were overweight and that number is expected to increase to seventy million in 2025. Currently, one in three adults in Korea are suffering from obesity. When did obesity become such a serious issue with us?
We are used to stimulating food as the development of the world has caused changes in our eating habits. This includes adopting westernized eating habits and eating similar foods such as flour, sugar, and oil. So, our body shape is changing and the rate of obesity is rising. There are several causes for obesity. As we know, when we steadily intake more nutrients than expending energy, we become unbalanced and at risk for obesity. Another cause for obesity risk is having less muscle mass or basal metabolic rate (BMR). If you have little muscle mass, your BMR is less too. That's why these people exceed BMR quickly even though they eat less than other people. Thus, weight is gained easily despite eating less food.
An unfamiliar cause for obesity is an imbalance of intestinal bacteria that helps us digest our food by disassembling food. An imbalance can change energy production and can affect every aspect of our bodies. In our intestines, useful germs and harmful germs are living in a balance. If the balance is disrupted, it puts the body at risk of diseases.
Our body tends to increase energy absorption in accordance with the ratio of bacteria that you have in your intestines. So, if you control intestinal bacteria well, it will affect how you burn calories and you can reduce body fat. The largest germs of our intestinal bacteria are Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. The bacteria that causes obesity are Firmicutes. According to a study, the more fat you have, the more Firmicutes you will have. If you have many Firmicutes, it causes glucose to be absorbed abnormally and leads to obesity. On the other hand, when you have many Bacteroidetes, it takes apart and eliminates carbohydrates. Thus, becoming obese is less likely when many bacteroidetes are present.
There are several factors that cause formation of bacteria including surroundings, heredity, stress, eating habits, and so on. Of those factors, eating habits influence formation of intestinal bacteria the most. Modern people are exposed to junk food. If we eat these foods, we have more harmful bacteria which emit toxins. These toxins have bad effects on our metabolism and bring illness. Obesity is linked to several complications and puts us at greater risk of early death. So, it is important to know the dangers of obesity and how to prevent it.
The way to prevent obesity is by reducing harmful germs that help cause obesity and increase useful germs. You should consume food that delivers useful germ. If you do, you will have a lot of good bacteria. Probiotics is one useful bacteria that we get when we eat vegetables such as chicory, onion, broccoli. Also, fermented foods have a lot of probiotics. Thus, you better eat fermented foods often. Another method which is well known is reducing the amount you eat and doing exercising more. You will have more body fat if you intake many good foods and do not exercise. Self management in eating healthy and exercising regularly will help you prevent from becoming obese. It is good to prevent obesity in advance because as we age it becomes more difficult lose weight. Preventing obesity lowers the chances that you catch a disease and will help you have a long life. Let’s change our life patterns for a healthy life.