Singapore Women's Weekly

Weight Loss 101

If you ever needed an incentive to keep your weight in check, your health is it. With so many diseases linked to being overweight and obese, those few extra kilograms you put on during the year could add up to a whole lot of trouble over time. Preventing weight gain in the first place is the best way to avoid a lifelong battle of the bulge. In this Body Confidence Special, we look at how our lifestyle, attitudes to food and dieting impact our future health.

WHAT’S EATING US?

It’s easy to think that when someone struggles with their weight that they lack willpower. But it’s not as simple as that and what many of us are dealing with is a problem on a global scale – one that requires the food culture in our society to change before the problem can be addressed and reversed.

THE SAD TRUTH

The idea that we’re solely to blame for obesity is exactly what food producers want us to believe. Yet supermarkets and convenience stores are filled with processed foods that are hard to resist because they’re made to be addictive.

By making foods as tasty as possible, food manufacturers increase sales but they also promote overeating. Some people experience strong food cravings or addiction and this applies particularly to sugary, high-fat junk foods that stimulate the reward centres in the brain. To make matters worse, these foods are often cheaper than good-quality fresh foods.

NOT SO SWEET

Scientists believe that added sugar may be one of the main causes of obesity. That’s because sugar changes our hormones and biochemistry when consumed in excess, and on average Singaporeans consume

12 teaspoons (or 60 g) of sugar daily based on the Ministry of Health.

THE WORLD AROUND US

The link between screen use and obesity has been well established but it’s not just because it makes us sedentary. Artificial light from light

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