Watch how the world becomes obese

Since infographics and spectacular charts are becoming a common topic in this blog, I brought you other.

In the fascinating animation below you can see how obesity has increased steadily in the world, year by year and country by country, from 1975 to 2014

As is explained in the source web (Metroscom.com) - where you can see the animation with better resolution and find more additional information - the data comes from the study "Trends in adult body-mass index in 200 countries from 1975 to 2014: a pooled analysis of 1698 population-based measurement studies with 19·2 million participants".

If we think about the consequences of this phenomenon, what we are seeing is simply stunning.


Breakfast, body weight and obesity

You’ve probably heard at some time the English saying “eat breakfast like a King, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper”. What’s more, you’d have a job finding someone who disagrees with the idea that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Practically all dietary strategies for losing weight strongly recommend eating a hearty breakfast, on the premise that this first meal after getting up is the one that gives us the energy and nutrients to get through the day. Makes sense, doesn’t it? Those who defend this theory also say that this habit helps to regulate your appetite, to activate your metabolism and to avoid eating compulsively later in the day.

But is there any proof behind this theory? Let’s take a look at what science and studies say about it.


More interactive charts: Supplements, benefits and evidence

Interactive graphics are increasingly common, so  I bring the third post on the subject. In this case is a stunning graphic about supplements, in which we can see the degree of evidence and the effectiveness of each supplement.

The source web is "Information is beautiful" and you can see the original graphic (and interact with it) on this link or by clicking on the image below.


How has changed the diet of the british: From 1942 to 2000

The Family Food Statistics website contains an array of historic data on the food purchasing habits in Britain. To know what they were eating in the middle of the last century may be of great interest. On top of this, if we can plot the trend towards more recent times, we can obtain a more detailed insight into the changes in their eating habits. And it’s quite likely that these findings could be extrapolated to many developed countries.

The British have been collecting data on it since 1942! Relevant data were systematically gathered and collated in the same format up to 2000, after which a new methodology was introduced. The charts below on changes in food consumption amongst people in Britain over the period 1942 to 2000 speak for themselves so no further comment is really needed.


More interactive charts: changes in food intake and crops around the world

Charts are an interesting way to show statistics about food. Especially if they are visually appealing and informative, like the following.


Food addiction among children and adolescents

The concept of “food addiction”, an approach which suggests there may be parallels between substance (tobacco, alcohol, etc.) abuse and the excessive intake of certain foods, has been discussed in several previous posts and especially in The Obese Brain, Numerous experts point to substantial and even clear evidence that the imbalance of our brain’s reward circuit may be attributable to certain foods and eating habits, along the same lines as what happens with substances considered to be addictive and potentially compulsive behaviour such as gambling. Though these concepts have their own peculiarities and specificities, the features they commonly share may be an interesting and useful starting point for designing new therapies and treatments in the fight against obesity.


Food addiction report

The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse is a nonprofit research and policy organization focused on improving the understanding, prevention and treatment of substance use and addiction. Few weeks ago they published an interesting report , "Understanding and addressing food addiction: a science-based approach to policy, practice and research".

On their website they explain the content of this document:


Interactive chart: The complexity of obesity, at a glance

It is often said that obesity is a complex phenomenon, much more than calories in-calories out process. In The Obese Brain you can better understand this complexity, closely related to the brain. And in the next amazing picture you can see a visual representation of this complexity and the causes behind the obesity.


What are the most “addictive” and craved foods?

As discussed at length in the book “The Obese Brain”, the concept of “food addiction” is not new. However, in recent years, this idea has aroused ever greater interest in the scientific community and subsequently given rise to a number of studies. Though it’s still too early to draw any definitive conclusions from those studies with a minimum degree of rigour, there is no doubt that this is a source of highly attractive hypotheses. So... keep a close eye on how this research develops.


The Obese Brain, the book

As obesity increases at a relentless pace, so does its negative effects on health. Campaigns and initiatives launched all around the world on the problem of obesity have proved futile, and the challenge to get rid of those unwanted kilos has turned into an endless nightmare.

So, what exactly are we doing wrong? What’s the mistake we’re making?

Findings from studies conducted in recent years suggest a new and promising perspective based around one central idea: what if the key to obesity is not to be found in the stomach but in the brain?

In our quest to find answers to these and other questions, this book takes us on a fascinating trip through the different scientific disciplines related to the brain and nutrition, such as endocrinology, neurology, psychology and psychiatry. How does the brain control the intake of energy? Why do we sometimes eat without needing to? Can we become addicted to foods? What impact does food marketing have on us? And can we change bad habits and lose weight?

A book that, without doubt, I would have liked to have written myself”. Juan Revenga, dietitian and biologist.

Well written and entertaining... an inventive and interesting approach”. Fernando Mosquera, psychiatrist and medical director.

“Essential reading, both for healthcare professionals and novices in the subject”. Pablo Zamaquero, dietitian.

Reader reviews (Spanish version) at this link at Amazon (translated with Google Translator, sorry for the mistakes).

About the author:

Luis Jiménez, BSc in Chemical Sciences. Author of books in Spanish on nutrition and health: “Lo que dice la ciencia para adelgazar” (What science tell us about losing weight) and “Lo que dice la ciencia sobre dietas, alimentación y salud” (What science tell us about diets, nutrition and health). Both books have been bestsellers in Spanish bookstores and in Amazon Spain.

Where to buy: