• By Jason Howland

Mayo Clinic Minute: Healthy environment leads to healthy life

January 1, 2018

Experts say many people live in environments that promote weight gain. These environments feature increased access to unhealthy foods and less physical activity. But how can you transform an unhealthy environment into a healthier one?

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (0:59) is in the downloads. Read the script.

Obesogenic is a word used to describe how one's surroundings can promote weight gain.

"We certainly live in an obesogenic environment, where it is very easy to eat more calories and be less physically active," says Dr. Seema Kumar, a Mayo Clinic pediatric endocrinologist.

Dr. Kumar says tempting treats and flashing screens lure people to sit still and munch more. But, by making small changes, you can turn your obesogenic environment into a much healthier one. These tips can help:

  • Shop wisely. Fill your cart and dinner plates with fruits and veggies, so you're sure to get five servings a day.
  • Cut portion size. Cook enough for one meal, so you can't go back for seconds.
  • And, every day, get up off the couch and get moving.

The great news is that even small changes in your weight make a big difference in your health.

"Just a 5 to 10 percent weight loss can improve your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels," says Dr. Kumar.

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