Updated 10:13 AM EST, Sat, Dec 15, 2018

Obesity in Latin America: Here Are 4 Ways To Be Healthier

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Obesity in Latin America: An Epidemic
Jack Nugent urges pedestrians to support his cause calling for McDonald's to retire Ronald McDonald, the corporate mascot, In March 2010 in Chicago, Illinois, Nugent and other protesters, organized by Corporate Accountability International, want the restaurant chain to retire Ronald McDonald, claiming the mascot target markets unhealthy food to children which leads to childhood obesity.
(Photo : Scott Olson/Getty )

According to the Pan American Health Organization 130 million people in Latin American are overweight and obese, that is almost a quarter of the population.

The World Bank estimates that if no steps are taken to combat this problem by 2030 the number of obese people will reach 30 percent in Latin America.

Every year a least 2.8 million people die because they are overweight or obese, according to the World Health Organization, it is not a matter of aesthetics.

 While health services can do more public awareness campaigns to inform the public about the benefits of a low sugar, high fiber full of greens and vegetables and the food industry does not do enough to address this problem.

There are things people can to eat healthier and maintain a higher quality of life.

Here are 4 ways to start a healthier you!

1. Learn to cook

Ultra high processed and fast foods are consumed more and more in Latin America according to Enrique Jacoby, Advisor for Nutrition and Physical Activity for PAHO he said in comments September. Among the two countries with the highest consumption of sugar is Mexico and Costa Rica.

Learning to cook is a very effective method to avoid becoming overweight. When you cook you are conscious of the ingredients and food that you include in your meal.

Even if you do not want to learn how to cook, it is important that you pay attention to the products that you purchase. Read the labels and the ingredients in the products which you buy.

2. Use smaller plates

Chefs like to use large plates with which to place their creations, so it stands to reasons if we use large plates our portions will be larger.

An experiment by Brian Wansink, Cornell University found that reducing the size of your plate from 30 to 25 centimeters supposes that you will eat 22 percent less calories. Smaller plates make a normal portion of food look much larger.

3. Maintain the exercises you practice

Inactivity and gaining weight are two peas in a pod. Experts suggest that you keep a log of your physical activities. It works in two ways, you can keep control of how much exercise you are doing and what types of physical activity you do per week.

4. Get support

Losing weight should not be a solitary activity. Go the gym and take classes, ask a friend to walk at least 30 minutes a day with you or forma group of friends that will motivate you to get up and go! There is no magic formula to losing weight. It takes time, patience and support. Surround yourself with like-minded people. The point is not always to losing so many pounds, it is to start living a healthier lifestyle.

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