It is now well recognized that obesity and overweight has spread amongst all sections in the developed nations and amongst the richer sections in the developing nations. It has become a lifestyle problem. Lowered physical activities along with the type of food that are consumed are the main cause of the problem. Processed food has been displacing fresh food in the departmental stores and the super markets. Processed food is convenient for the people caught up with the busy urban life as they are easy to prepare.
The major cause of overweight is the consumption of beverages and fast food or junk food as they are called. This is now a well recognized fact. Alongside, the weight loss market is flourishing. A number of solutions have been propounded such as diet food, diet restructuring, medication, herbal appetite suppressant and surgeries. There are many publications and e-books on how to reduce belly fat and burn away the fat quickly replacing with muscles.
The food industry processes fresh food using various technologies for the purpose of retaining freshness for longer time, increased shelf life and protection of the food from bacterial infection. The techniques used include pasteurization, cooling, autoclaving, drying, salting and separation of various components. The processed food can be consumed without any further preparation or with minimal preparation. The processed food is available in a wide range leaving the consumers to make a choice from amongst them.
Separation techniques such as centrifugation, pressing and milling are used to extract juices, flour, oils etc as well as minerals, amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. These processes modify the nutrient content of the food. Phytochemicals, vitamins and other substances are often lost when food is heated. The nutritional value of the food is modified and lowered. The need to enrich the processed food with additional important nutrient arises as a result. The processed food is inferior in terms of nutrient value when compared to the fresh wholesome food. Fresh foods have more sodium, GI starches, fiber, potassium, unoxidized essential fatty acids and vitamins. Harmful substances such as oxidized fats and trans fatty acids are often found in processed food.
Obesity is a big problem because it’s a greater risk to our health and self-esteem. So, we should watch the food we eat and exercise more.
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