Monday , July 26 2021

Wasted in obesity

Mr. Director:

With admiration and concern, we have seen Chile lead in Latin America the rates of obesity and being overweight in adults, children and the elderly.

A recent report places our country as a leader in obesity in what refers to the female population. For this latest data there may be various genotypic explanations such as that a woman's body has a greater amount of fat and, therefore, is metabolically less active than humans.

The case of obese children is worrying because they are our future and we fail in how we prepare them in developing their lifestyles.

Regarding the weight of children, Chile is the number 1 country in the OECD in obese children. As a country, it is estimated that 90% of the population is inactive, which means that few of our children play on the road or in the park, that they hardly engage in physical activity and that the physical exercise they do in school is not enough.

For that added children's food choices: most are "ultra processed." While many are "stamp free", they lack vitamins and minerals.

Did you know that 70% of the source of vitamin D generation is sun exposure? It's free outdoors and our children and older adults have a deficiency of between 70 and 90% of this vitamin. That shows that we are locked in obesity.

We really need to produce more space for outdoor development, enjoy the sun (care for the skin), and increase our food choices to get out of this cage.

Gonzalo Costa L.
School of Nutrition and Diet
University of Finis Terrae

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