Obesity in Indian setting

New Delhi, March 21, 2017:  Obesity is considered as a major health problem of the current era. Obesity never comes alone, but always comes associated with bunch of other diseases like diabetes, cardiac and kidney problems, altered liver function, and many others. Obesity, both generalized and abdominal greatly affects Indian populations, but the recent data published online in the Indian Journal of Medical Research, suggests that the abdominal obesity predominates the generalized one.

Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement said that, “More than 80 % of people living in Delhi-NCR are obese and majority of them don’t realize that they are actually overweight and hence are at increased risk of developing obesity-induced disorders. Thus, it is imperative to increase awareness about causes and ill-effects of obesity so as to reduce the burden of diseases associated with it.

“Many people, especially Indians have a misconception that obesity is associated with high standard livelihood (i.e. people from “khate peete khandan se”), due to which the prevalence of obesity increases both in adults as well as in children. Also, it is observed that Indian urban population is comparatively more obese than rural population. Further, it is easy to lose extra body weight but very difficult to maintain it. Hence, self-control, physical activity, healthy food choices, and removal of all kind of misconceptions regarding obesity will improve the quality of life and reduce the obesity-induced mortality rate of Indians” added Dr K K Aggarwal.

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Causes of obesity:

  • Unhealthy food choices at work and school
  • Consumption of calorie-dense less nutritious food items
  • Sedentary life-style
  • Genetics: many genes are responsible for causing obesity
  • Poor socioeconomic status of parents increases the chances of obesity in their children
  • Sleep apnea or deprivation

Some tips to prevent obesity

  • Overeating must be avoided
  • Consumption of healthy and highly nutritious food
  •  Intake of large amount of water
  • Avoidance of western diet
  • Increased physical activity or exercise is recommended as it burns extra calories
  • Regular weight monitoring will safeguard from becoming overweight
  • Proper sleep
  • Thyroid check: untreated thyroid condition can also lead to obesity

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