Things you didn’t know make you fat
Where you live, how much you sleep, your means of transportation, even the air you breathe can contribute to obesity. Often, those and other factors work together among themselves as well as with the more well-known causes such as eating too much and not getting enough exercise.
• Air pollution can predispose you to be fat even before you’re born. Prenatal exposure to high polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon levels in the air made children two times more likely to be obese by age 7, according to a 2012 study. The advice for pregnant women is to stay away from car exhaust, cigarette smoke, fireplaces, and BBQ grills.
• The International Journal of Obesity has reported a link between low altitude and obesity. People who live below 1,640 feet are more than five times as likely to be obese than people who live at elevations above 9,843. It is believed that increased metabolic demands of living at high altitudes may be at play here.
• It is a sad fact of life that antibiotics are more misused than the word ‘irony.’ Several studies have found a link between early use of antibiotics and childhood obesity, which you can add to the potential side effects that antibiotics have even when used correctly. The recommendation is to keep antibiotic use to a minimum and only when appropriate and absolutely necessary.
• Next time you’re going to drive somewhere less than five blocks away, remember that the car is moving, but you’re not. Car dependence is a huge part of a sedentary lifestyle, and as such, a risk factor for obesity.
• Fast food salads are like the non-fat yogurt from the Seinfeld episode of the same name. Just because the name suggests that they are healthy products, it doesn’t make them so. In fact, salads from several food chains have been found to contain 1,200 calories or more.
• A study published this year in the journal Nature says that not getting enough sleep can make you hungry and impair your judgment when it comes to making healthy eating choices.
• Gut bacteria, or lack thereof, can lead to weight gain. Introduce or increase probiotics in your diet in order to multiply and diversify your intestinal flora.
Related Read: How does junk food affect your brain?