[HEALTH]Overweight? Drop the soju, cut the porkThe Korean government is fed up with fat. Last month, the Health Ministry said a survey conducted from April to June found that 32.4 percent of Korean adults were obese, 1.6 times as many as 10 years ago.
Obesity is not just a problem of aesthetics, it’s the main cause of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Even women who meet the lowest definition of obese are eight times more likely to get diabetes than those who are height-weight proportionate ― for men the risk is four times as great. Obese women also face more problems after entering menopause. Fat distributed around the hips and thighs starts to accumulate around the abdomen after menopause due to changes in hormones. Abdominal obesity is linked to internal obesity, in which fat is accumulated in or around internal organs such as the heart or liver.
Then, how can we wage war against obesity? One of the main reasons people become obese is a combination of overeating and lack of exercise. Obviously one should eat less and workout regularly, and as one ages, more effort is needed ― fat levels around internal organs increase with age.
Usually, most people maintain a healthy weight up to the age of 20. But from the mid-20s, fat around internal organs increases and muscle density decreases, resulting in the common middle-age bulge.
An adult man ordinarily needs 2,200 kilocalories a day and an adult woman 2,000 kilocalories. Eat plain meals that include rice, soup, two or three vegetable side dishes and fruit, and drink fresh or soy milk. Beware of instant noodles: one cup kicks in an additional 550 kilocalories.
“In order to prevent obesity, men should swear off of boys’ nights out and women should reduce eating between meals,” said Kang Jae-heon, a professor of family medicine at Inje University.
At company dinners, try to eat food equivalent to just one meal, Mr. Kang added. Usually a Korean night out contains about 3,000 kilocalories from pork, rice and a bottle of soju. In order to consume the calories, one has to exercise, ― hiking, swimming or jogging ― for an hour everyday for a week.
If you’re obese, plan to spend at least a year slimming down through dieting, exercise and medical consultation for a healthier future.
How to prevent obesity
1. Don’t over-eat.
2. Don’t eat snacks, chocolate or candies.
3. When you’re thirsty, drink green tea or water, not soda or juice.
4. Eat food slowly and chew thoroughly.
5. Avoid eating fast food or instant food as much as possible.
6. If you drink coffee, don’t take milk or sugar.
7. When you’re out drinking, eat side dishes of vegetables and fruit instead of fried food.
8. Increase your daily physical activity by walking up stairs instead of taking an elevator.
9. Exercise regularly. (At least three times a week for at least 30 minutes)
10. Don’t eat in short bursts, but eat three meals slowly and regularly.
Source: Obesity Clinic at Seoul Paik Hospital
by Hwang Se-hee