by The Welthi Bureau | 08 FEB 2018
Dr. Ravi Sankar Erukulapati,Senior Endocrinologist,Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills talks about the growing need to tackle obesity at the family level.
One ailment that has affected maximum numbers across the world than any other, and if one is contemplating an answer different from Obesity, they haven’t got it right. Obesity has affected millions, across continents, sparing no age with no gender bias. Not surprisingly, solutions for Obesity prevention and treatment have lured scientists, researchers, clinicians, pharma industry, entrepreneurs, and the general public.
Undue emphasis has been laid on Weight reducing surgeries, medicines that can help reduce few pounds, cosmetic treatments, and even strange herbal remedies as treatment options for Obesity. Strangely, not enough has been done by the establishment or the individual in curtailing the prevalence of Obesity and the avoidable complications of Obesity.
To develop some insight into the preventive aspects of Obesity, one has to realize that there are both genetic and environmental components contributing to Obesity. Genetic component isn’t something that can be meddled with, at least at this stage as science hasn’t given us many options for this as yet.
But there is respite in that environmental factors can be dealt with appropriately to prevent Obesity. When one says environmental factors, that pertains to Diet, Exercise, Sleep, and such lifestyle changes. No wonder Obesity is a Life style disease and the answer to the problem exists in dealing with such causative factors themselves.
Diet plays a key role in determining the health of any individual, preventing several ailments and Obesity is no exception. Simple methods such as taking adequate fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables about 5 times a day, with right amount of cereals , pulses and refraining from excess of junk foods, processed foods can prevent obesity. Changing lifestyles involving eating out frequently, refined carbohydrates like Sugar, processed foods, red meat, fizzy drinks, biscuits and cookies, cakes and pastries, pizzas and burgers, ice creams, fried foods like Samosas, all have their share in increasing the deadly disease of Obesity and its complications.
Instead of throwing the blame on Food industry alone and the enticing adverts shown to us, it is time to ponder if enough is done at the family level. Change as they say starts at the dining table of a family and that holds very true in respect of healthy diet. The otherwise innocuous-appearing White Rice consumed as the stable diet across India, the Biryanis made with it do deserve to be curtailed as they add to the burden of Obesity and Diabetes.
There has been some debate about “Sin Tax” on such Obesogenic foods in India akin to a few countries so as to disapprove consumption of such junk foods in abundance. While such policies framed by the State may aid in controlling Obesity, nothing stops a family in making its share of sensible decisions to consume a balanced diet and stay away from junk foods. After all, change should begin at the dining table of a family.
The role of physical activity or rather the lack of it, cannot be ignored while discussing about Obesity. The good old walking and cycling have given way to motor cycles and cars. School play grounds are a rarity. Idiot box Television and electronic gadgets have taken over play time of children. Add to these, the Smart phone and the list is complete. Parks play areas and breathing spaces have been replaced by concrete buildings, thanks to urbanisation.
Despite the above, all is not lost and there is still a lot that could be done at an individual level, family and in institutions to cut down the prevalence of Obesity. Simple changes in the right direction, such as inculcating the habit of daily exercise and sports right from childhood by both parents and schools can be the right step towards a less Obese society.
Sleep is an important component of our daily routine and the busy lifestyles that we lead have disturbed this along with other factors such as Television, Smartphone’s. Timely sleep schedule, Sleep Hygiene and an average of 6 to 8 hours of good quality sleep are essential to give rest to the mind and body, decrease the release of Stress related hormones like Cortisol and facilitate the release of good hormones which all are factors that can prevent Obesity along with a fresh and rejuvenated mind and soul for the next morning.
Suffice to say that a good sleep, adequate exercise and a healthy diet can prevent many cases of Obesity and allow us to lead a healthy and fruitful life, prevent diseases like Diabetes, Heart problems, Stroke and several such. After all, Prevention is better than cure and this statement is apt for Obesity.
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