Bad choices of meals and beverages weaken the immune system. Especially high-calorie, high-fat, fast-food choices have negative effects on body health. Based on Turkish Statistical Institute’s Turkey Health Survey, 2016, the percentage of obese individuals 15 and over was 19.6%. It was seen that females were obese with 23.9% and pre-obese with 30.1%. These figures were observed 15.2% and 38.6% for males, respectively.
Prof. Dr. Nazan Turhan, Head of IUE Department of Food Engineering, reported that food had a direct effect on body functions, and that healthy or unhealthy choices affected health issues such as energy, strength, body mass, etc. Prof. Dr. Turhan said that making healthy choices at fast-food restaurants, food courts, and even at school cafeterias was much easier than thought. “Most of the cafeterias or fast-food restaurants offer healthy and tasty choices like grilled chicken or salad. However, one should avoid big portions, and high-fat ingredients such as dressings and cheeses. Choosing a well-balanced diet, portion size, and choice of beverages is important when dining out. A healthy diet should include non-fat protein choices like fish, chicken, chick peas, beans, and fruits, vegetables, and grains. A whole-wheat bread sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and turkey meat is a much healthier choice than a cheeseburger,” said Prof. Dr. Turhan.
‘Parents are role models in promoting healthy eating’
Prof. Dr. Turhan suggested staying away from “empty calorie” beverages such as sodas, juices, energy drinks, and recommended eating healthy snacks such as fresh squeezed juices, milk with fruits, yoghurt with honey, sandwich, and healthy nuts as walnuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Prof. Dr. Turhan said, “Children should be educated on healthy eating habits and told what each food is good for. Parents should be on agreement and firm about this. Encouraging your child to exercise regularly and turn that into a way of life is the biggest gift you can give them. Please remember that children take their parents as example. Therefore, you, too need to exercise and pave the way for them.”