Buffet meals and unli rice, contributory factors to obesity?

BAGUIO CITY – Nutritionists-dieticians and other health advocates are looking at the buffet and unli rice restaurants as a factor in the increase of overweight individuals in Baguio City and Benguet.

Restaurants offering eat-all-you-can buffet meals and eateries serving unlimited rice customers including children in the city and nearby areas of Benguet to have been on the rise. More people eat at these types of restaurants due to lesser amount to be paid with more food to be eaten.

Dr. Pelin Belino, Dean of Department of Human Nutrition and Foods of the Benguet State University, said that although studies are yet to be made to prove that the emergence of buffet and unli rice restaurants contributes to the increase of overweight, these kinds of restaurants offer foods that have higher calories and fats which affect the regular diets or eating behaviour of persons.

Belino said that in the past years, fast food chains have been contributing to the obesity and overweight problems particularly among children.

Most fast-food meals contain high sodium and high saturated and artificial trans fats and are high in sugar content.

Individuals who opt to eat at fast-food chains and other restaurants instead of at home with home-cooked meal increase their risk of becoming obese, she explained.

Pelino added that most people also have lesser movements such as exercise or jogging after consuming much food from the buffet and unli rice meals.

National Nutrition Council Cordillera Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Rita Papey, in a kapihan media forum, reported that overweight or obesity is a growing concern in the Cordillera with a 33 percent overweight/obesity rate based on 2015 National Nutrition Survey data. This is higher than the average national rate of 30%.
She reported that for pre – school children, Cordillera recorded the second highest prevalence rate among all regions in the country, and ranked third or fourth in other age groups.

NNC-CAR bared that the primary reason for obesity is sedentary lifestyle. People today are not much into physical activities; rather they focus more on electronic gadgets. They also ride instead of walk even if going to short distance destinations./JDP/RMC- PIA CAR