Neurogastronomy: a diet that enters through the eyes – Sponsored Content

Healthy eating is a topic that is not only heard on a daily basis among the world population, it is also a matter that is faced with marketing strategies, policies, economic aspects and other factors that make the decision when it comes to eating quite a challenge. And it is that although there is an intention to promote the consumption of healthy foods, there is a constant struggle with the lack of awareness of people in the face of diseases such as obesity and overweight, processed and ultra-processed products and misinformation.

Colombia, like many Latin American countries, has a practically epidemic problem of obesity; This is leading to a health problem and a social problem that makes the fact of being able to identify the most favorable foods for a healthy diet more complex. Precisely, ultra-processed foods that are characterized by having many calories and within their ingredients certain types of fat, sugar and salt, have made not only obesity a little more complex, but also some chronic diseases that lead to morbidity and mortality. quite fast”, says Jhon Jairo Bejarano, professor of the Nutrition Department of the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Colombia (UNAL), in statements taken from the ‘Salud UNAL Contigo’ podcast, a series produced by Podcast Radio UNAL, adding that “Why do people choose this type of product within their family basket or permanent consumption? It is given mainly by the flavors that they handle, the intensity of certain types of substances that leads to a certain permanent affinity for their consumption and the advertising and marketing of this type of products that is quite aggressive.”.

In the midst of this panorama, a poor diet, in addition to producing obesity and overweight, which, according to the World Bank, take the lives of four million people a year in the world and, according to the National Survey of Nutritional Situation (ENSIN) which was carried out in 2015, 18.7 percent of Colombians suffer from obesity and 37.7 percent of adults between 18 and 64 are overweight, supermarkets influence this situation, since processed and ultra-processed foods They are located in a privileged way within the shops.

In the words of Mercedes Mora, a professor at the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and who was invited to participate in the ‘Salud UNAL Contigo’ podcast, at this point the key is knowing how to differentiate between what is food and what is an ultra-processed edible product. “A food is produced by nature and at the time of consumption it preserves its food matrix and has been transformed by simple or homemade operations; foods contain only one ingredient. On the contrary, ultra-processed foods contain more than three to five ingredients and within the former it is common to find added sugar, sodium or industrialized saturated fat, as well as substances that make them last in stores for a long time without undergoing any transformation.”.

In addition to the above, in the search for successful products in the market, the food industry has used studies to identify actions that allow them to increase sales, including product modifications, packaging designs, development of experiences in points and even neurogastronomy, a term that refers to the study of how the brain creates the perception of taste.

There are many strategies that neurogastronomy uses to sell more ultra-processed foods, since many of the pleasures we feel with food lie more in the mind and not in the mouth. The crunchiness of French fries has been enhanced to make them feel fresher and crispier. Similarly, all drinks that appear red will give a sensation of being sweeter. In the case of vanilla, the ice cream has no flavor on its own, so the smell is increased so that the feeling of smelling it replaces that of the taste”, says María Fernanda Lara, a professor in the Department of Human Communication at the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Colombia and a guest on the aforementioned podcast.

In this sense, communication stands out and is the protagonist by producing a phenomenon of false news related to nutrition and food.

Food has a clear link with health, aesthetics and the environment and, as it is part of our daily life, there are many people who feel empowered to give advice on the subject based on their personal experience. generating confusion, misinformation and public health risks. On the other hand, information on nutrition and food circulates in an increasingly digital environment, anyone with internet access can consume information on the subject, 2021 surveys indicate that 78 percent of adults and adolescents seek food information on the internet”, emphasizes Olga Lucía Mora, dietician nutritionist, Master in Scientific Communication and expert invited to speak on this topic in ‘Salud UNAL Contigo’.

Neurogastronomy and healthy eating in 2023

In order to analyze the situation and how Colombian families can improve their diet, experts from the National University of Colombia will explain the concept of “healthy nutrition” on Facebook Live ‘Neurogastronomy and healthy eating in 2023’ and will address the problems of obesity and overweight, considered chronic and progressive diseases caused largely by the consumption of junk foods and by the marketing strategies of suppliers of these foods. In addition, they will answer questions such as what dietary recommendations can be made for the vacation period and for the regular times of academic and work activity? Is preparation necessary to resume work and academic activity? What is the importance of sleep?, among others.

The event will have the participation of María Fernanda Lara, professor of the Department of Human Communication of the Faculty of Medicine of the National University of Colombia.

Thus, the invitation is to connect on January 16, 2023 at 6:00 pm through

*The statements quoted in the note were taken from the episode Healthy eating, from the podcast ‘Salud UNAL Contigo’, a series produced by Podcast Radio UNAL.

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