March 4: World Obesity Day: Well Over Half Bulgarians Are Overweight
Two out of three Bulgarians are obese or unhealthily overweight. By this alarming indicator, our country is ahead of both Europe and the world, show the most up-to-date WHO data for 2021, and the reason to quote it is World Obesity Day - 4 March. This means that over 61% of Bulgarians suffer from obesity. This is a chronic condition characterized with an excessive amount of body fat, which has a negative effect on health and is associated with reduced life expectancy. The share of children in Bulgaria who are overweight is 13.6%,as boys with obesity between 5 and 9 years old account for 17.1% and girls for up to 10.2% of the Bulgarian children.
The body mass index is a major indicator for diagnosing overweight and obesity, and it has risen noticeably among Bulgarians in the last year, when people remained in their homes immobilized for a long period of time. The result is visible in both employees and school students in an online environment and home office.
"From the very beginning, when people were banned from leaving their homes for walks, when communications were reduced to a minimum, it was found that people gained weight, children and adolescents also did so, against the backdrop of depression, low body tone and anxiety. These were predisposing factors to weight gain, says Prof. Donka Baikova, specialist in nutrition, dietetics and public health:
"Some people managed to overcome it quickly. They found a way to switch over to a healthier eating pattern and secondly - to find their own exercise and motor activity regimen, albeit at home.
The good news for those who gained weight in a short period of time is that their body does not accept excess kilos them as its own, and with a little more effort, they can shed them quickly. The body did not have time to lock them in, and the memory of fat cells is not so resilient. Therefore, the faster we switch to weight reduction, the easier it will be is to lose excess weight. There is also such a part of the Bulgarians who put on hold the weight problem for the time after the pandemic ended.
However, it will apparently not end anytime soon, so the specialists recommend: do not postpone the struggle against excess weight, take measures immediately. Because even with a coronavirus infection, it is clear that people with excess weight have a greater risk for the severe course of this disease."
The reason is that when overweight, a person's organs are encased in fat. "The heart is covered by a fat capsule, the liver is infiltrated with fat, the vessels are clogged with fatty deposits, the bone-joint apparatus is not adapted to carry excessive kilos. Your height (in cm) minus 100 - this is the easiest way to judge whether we are within the norm," says Prof. Baikova and also advises that if the calculations show an excess weight, we should urgently take action:
"Give up high-calorie foods - not entirely but with considerable restriction. If you do it abruptly, this may cause our immune defenses to collapse and we may be exposed to the infectious agents in the environment, rapid change of temperature, etc., i.e. a smooth transition to a lower calorie diet with increased motor activity is required.
The healthy weekly menu includes three portions of meat, two portions of fish, two lean days, when we can add dairy products and an egg. In the lean days we always include pulses in the menu: potatoes, cereals, rice, corn and legumes, as well as a lot of vegetables and fruits. Usually carbohydrates are recommendable for breakfast, it gives energy – rye bread, oatmeal, flaxseed, etc.
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