Vivaz announces its plan for healthy eating in the face of the public health problem posed by obesity
- Poor nutrition is a public health problem of the first order, on a par with smoking. Despite Spain's fame as the cradle of the Mediterranean diet, more than half the Spanish population (and one in every three children and teenagers) is overweight or obese.
- Aware of the importance of keeping healthy habits as a way of preventing illnesses, VIVAZ, the health insurance brand of Línea Directa Aseguradora, S.A., is committed to promoting healthy eating.
- In laying out this plan, VIVAZ has joined forces with prestigious nutritionist Juan Revenga.
- VIVAZ's commitment to fighting for healthy eating is anchored in divulging rigorously accurate information, based at all times in scientific evidence supported by medical professionals. VIVAZ is always ready to dispel dietary myths and miracles, and to foster the consumption of unprocessed (or minimally processed) plant-based food.
- Some of the basic recommendations included in the plan are: eat at least five portions of fresh plant-based foods a day, shop more like you would at the market rather than at the supermarket, forget about losing kilos and try to gain (good) habits, and eat food prepared consciously and at home.
Madrid, 14 June 2021.- Some of the consequences of overweight and obesity are sleep apnoea, eating disorders, cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, liver and kidney diseases, diabetes and osteoarthritis: a silent epidemic in the developed world. Poor diet is today a public health problem that has tripled since 1975. This epidemic is nowadays the main health risk factor faced by Spaniards, ahead of smoking, and it accounts for 10% of the country's health expenditure.
Aware of this problem, Vivaz, Línea Directa Aseguradora, S.A.'s health insurance brand, has prepared and published Vivaz's Plan for Healthy Eating, for which it has joined forces with Juan Revenga, one of the most renowned nutritionists in Spain. “Poor diet is a serious and global health problem. More than half the Spanish population (and one in three kids) is overweight or obese. Faced with this reality, and committed as we are to our customers and to our society, we have decided to divulge a series of principles for healthy eating, and to act according to them. We think it is critical to raise awareness of the importance of keeping healthy eating habits throughout one's life, and of the relevance of good nutrition in disease prevention, and to dispel myths about food before the continued rise in miracle diets and hoaxes", says David Pérez Renovales, Director of Vivaz.
According to Vivaz's Plan for Healthy Eating, among the chief obstacles to healthy eating are:
- The cult of weight loss and diets, a trend that is often the cause of eating disorders.
- The nutrient-centrist paradigm, which is usually exercised in one of two ways. It is exercised, on the one hand, by defending a product arguing that it lacks an ingredient with a bad reputation (sugar, salt, trans fats, palm oil), and on the other, by emphasising nutrients or ingredients that enjoy a good image among consumers (proteins, vitamins, minerals). It is common to find such claims in foods that are scarcely nutritional, if at all, and that are frequently harmful.
- Ultra-processed foods, which account for 64% of the foods sold in supermarkets. They are typically energy-dense, contain unhealthy fats, and have a high sugar and salt content.
- Myths and unscientific truisms, such as: "Products labelled organic are, by definition, healthier, safer and more environmentally friendly". "Dietary supplements are beneficial."
- Food supply and demand on steroids: we want it all, all year round, from all over the world, and conveniently.
Juan Revenga, nutritionist and consultant for Vivaz in the elaboration of this Plan, says “modifiable risk factors such as poor diets, lack of exercise and smoking, are commonly linked to non-communicable diseases (NCDs), which currently cause 70% of deaths worldwide”.
From Vivaz we want to make a call to action, and put our weight on the balance to help change things. Some of Vivaz's commitments to healthier eating are:
- Promote truly healthy lifestyle choices and provide practical strategies to achieve them.
- Commit to accurate and rigorous reporting, whereby Vivaz will issue all its recommendations based on the highest level of scientific evidence available.
- Take a wide angled look at food issues, taking into account not only the purely physiological aspects, but also psychological, economic, social, and environmental aspects.
- Promote fresh plant-based foods over animal-based foods (which is also in line with environmental concerns).
- Pay special attention to eating disorders, which are particularly relevant in our society.
- Speak out against unfounded dietary and nutritional myths.
- Underline the importance of listening to health professionals, such as nutrition, dietetics, and psychology professionals.
- Promote fresh and unprocessed (or minimally processed) foods. And seasonal and local foods.
- Extol the values of cooking in acquiring good dietary habits.
- Promote best practices in food safety.
- Urge authorities to improve campaigns promoting healthier habits currently aimed at the public.
- Promote the use of technologies that will help us make decisions and achieve our goals, such as mobile app #ElCOCOCO.
- Pay special attention to the diets of the very young and of the elderly.
Vivaz's Plan for Healthy Eating will also:
- Focus on the food itself and not on isolated nutrients.
- Express dietary recommendations based on the nutritional quality of foods and the relative importance of each food group, and not on the number of calories or grams in each ration.
- Refrain from appealing to weight and looks as drivers of dietary changes.
- Not encourage dieting.
- Avoid complacent platitudes and empty recommendations.
Healthy eating tips
Vivaz's Plan also includes some basic recommendations for healthy eating, such as:
- Eat at least 5 servings of plant foods per day (fruit, vegetables and greens).
- Cook what you eat.
- Be conscious of what you eat.
- When thirsty, drink water.
- Keep away from ultra-processed foods.
- Shop in the market and not only in the supermarket.
- Forget the food pyramid and use more up-to-date and reliable food guides.
- Forget about trying to lose weight and focus on gaining a few (good) habits.
And what is Vivaz going to do?
With its Plan for Healthy Eating, Vivaz wants to raise awareness about one of the pillars of healthy living, and share good eating habits with the public. To that purpose, Vivaz commits to the principles it has laid out in its Plan and commits to putting them into practice in all its interactions with its stakeholders.
In order to convey these principles to the general public, Vivaz will share them through its social media channels, through its website and its Apps, as well as in contributions and collaborations in the media. Vivaz policyholders will also be able to access, apart from other initiatives, training programmes imparted by nutritionist Juan Revega, and the more than 2,500 Línea Directa Aseguradora, S.A. employees are already welcome to join, among other activities, webinars on healthy habits.