At present, 77 per cent of Spaniards have at least one meal away from home every day. Breakfast is the main culprit, as nine out of ten people who eat it outside do so in a restaurant or bar.
The latest lifestyle survey conducted by the Spanish Society of Obesity, throws a light on the country’s eating habits. According to the study, people who eat breakfast away from home increase their risk of obesity by 18.8 per cent.
People who suffer with obesity are those who eat out for breakfast the most and generally have dinner at home. People are also more prone to weight problems if they shun vegetables as a main course or a side dish and opt for a sweet dessert instead of fruit.
Eating sweet for pudding increases the risk of obesity by 20 per cent. In this regard, it is surprising that 40 per cent of obese people explained that they don’t have fruit because it’s never on restaurant menus.
Restaurateurs argue that people go to restaurants to treat themselves, stating this as the reason for not putting an apple or an orange on their menu. However, experts highlight that eating out has stopped being something occasional. They believe that the catering sector is jointly responsible in the fight against obesity.
Offering free water and informing of the calories in each dish are some of the steps that restaurants can take. Half portions are another measure that health experts hope restaurants will implement in the near future.
Obesity is a disease that has doubled in Spain in the last 20 years. Doctors explain that this will be a big problem for public health services in the coming years. Social environments are very influential and, in fact, having a family member or friend with obesity increases the risk by 13 per cent.
The study also determines that 54.6 per cent of people who are obese do not accept it and refuse to perceive it as a disease. Doctors explain that the misconception translates into one of the most common phrases: “I’m not obese, I’m fat.” Health professionals insist that overweight people who don’t recognise this problem make the medical intervention a lot harder.