The rise in female unemployment and the consumption of cheaper and less nutritious food products are some of the factors responsible for the recent increase in obesity among women in Spain.
That is the result of the study carried out by experts of the European Medical Institute of Obesity, or IMEO, for the World Day Against Obesity, which takes place on Monday and will bring attention to what has become one of the main health concerns for modern societies over the past decade.
The latest global statistics on obesity place women in the center of the 21st century epidemic and the report "Generacion XXL" - recently published by the firm IPSOS, which specializes in identifying behaviors, attitudes and opinions in society - says that the number of obesity-related cases has shot up during the current crisis.
The psychological effects of the crisis, including anxiety and depression, and the decline in the quality of the food basket due to the reduction in household incomes have resulted in the rise in obesity among Spanish women.
In general, women are more prone to suffer from depression and anxiety, and the current crisis situation, which - for many - has led to a loss of income and resources, is greatly affecting how and what they are eating, IMEO nutrition expert Elisabeth Gonzalez said.
Hormones like estrogen, endogenous opioids, progesterone, testosterone and others form a cocktail that influences modes of behavior, induces feelings of sadness or happiness and makes women "more susceptible to being emotional eaters than men," Gonzalez said.
Spanish women, however, are concerned about their figures and many undergo weight loss treatments and are engaging in more physical exercise than men, physical trainer and psychologist Sandra Pino said.