Time to buckle up and lose weight

Overweight and Obesity are fast emerging as global pandemic. 72% of the most developed country in the world, USA’s population is overweight and obese. In India , more than 30 million people are overweight, and the fact that 20% of school going children are overweight, paints a grim picture.

In a study conducted in 2007, by Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College , New Delhi, revealed 13.1% of affluent schoolgirls in Bangalore are overweight, and 4.3% being obese. According to another study cited by Dr Izhar Hasan, Unani Doctor, Bangalore has 35% overall prevalence rate of Obesity.

Obesity is associated with over 112,000 deaths due to cardiovascular disease every year in the US population, when compared to healthy-weight individuals. Obesity has financial implications as well. People pay as much as 42% more on medical expenses as compared to non obese persons.

What is obesity?

Obesity is calculated based on weight and BMI( Body Mass Index) calculations. In simple terms, obesity is a result of imbalance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. If someone is eating more and not doing any exercises , he or she is vulnerable to gain weight.

Problems due to obesity

It has been directly linked to cardiovascular diseases, stroke, certain cancers, sleep apnoea, snoring , osteoarthritis and Diabetes Mellitus .

How to fight obesity?

To reduce weight, one needs to eat less and burn more calories. However, a word of caution, it is always better to consult a nutritionist or doctor before starting on any weight loss program. Apart from diet and physical exertion , a very important fact been highlighted by certain studies is effect of sleep deprivation and excessive television viewing. It may be partly attributed to excess eating during waking hours and TV viewing .

Contrary to popular beliefs, It is not difficult to lose weight. A strong commitment, an active lifestyle, regular exercises, A dietary schedule (it does not mean going hungry), regular sleeping activities can contribute to achieving loss of weight in most cases.

However, when obesity is associated with any disease or medication , medical consultation is mandatory.

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About Mukul Saxena 34 Articles
Col (Retd) Dr Mukul Saxena has over 30 years of cross-functional expertise in healthcare, both in public and private sectors.