by The Welthi Bureau | 26th Nov, 2018
On the occasion of World Obesity Day it is not enough to treat obesity, but find ways and means to control and prevent the obesity epidemic.
Morbid Obesity affects 5% of India's population. It is a major risk factor for Cardiovascular Diseases and the Indian Heart Association has been raising awareness of this issue.
This included a change in the BMI for India - i.e 23 kg/m2 is considered overweight. Normal BMI – 18-22.9 KG/m2.
Overweight – 23-24.9 KG/m2
Obesity - >25 Kg/m2
This is the result of 22 different SNP'S ( Single Nucleotide Polymorphism) near to MC4-Rgene, named rs 12970134 associated with waist circumference. This is highly prevalent in Indians.
Though New Delhi tops the list in Obesity and Telangana being low, it is changing due to the younger population seeking employment in the IT industry.
As a surgeon, it is not enough to operate on obesity and have good outcomes. It is imperative to get to the root of the problem which is – DIET AND EXERCISE.
As you are aware, our forefathers never suffered from obesity, and the reason was proper diet, good cooking habits and plenty of exercises. People used to walk miles, unlike now where people are content to go around in vehicles only.
I can reflect upon my younger days when we had three hours of playtime – PT, sports, and games every day, with six hours of academics. Now it is almost twelve hours of academics only. Games and Sports are limited to playing on the computer or watching them on TV.
India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China, as per the New England Journal of Medicine.
What we do in our 20's and 30's will help us in our 60's and 70's. A whole generation of MILLENIALS ( Those born after 1985) has a different lifestyle, unlike our ancestors.
There is no physical activity. They start exercise only after a disease manifests – i.e. after the damage is already done. There is improper diet – Fast foods and unhealthy eating habits.
Many of them have lifestyle diseases. India is the capital of Diabetes in the world. People in 20's + 30's are suffering from Hypertension and CAD. Most of them are overweight or obese. So how do we prevent this Tsunami of Obesity with the associated metabolic syndrome? Encourage physical activity in children. Schools should have sports and a culture in sporting activity should be encouraged. Talent in sports at all levels should get special recognition with employment guarantees. Goal trackers for all employees like PF+ESI.
The IT industry should make a concentrated effort, as most of the workforce is very young.
Most important – proper diet and eating habits. If we can change the mindset of the Millennials, then we can hope that at least the next generation of children will be healthy i.e. less of lifestyle diseases.
Sadguru says, “The physical body should not be an obstacle to the functioning of the individual.”
Take care of the body and the body will take care of you.
The initiatives by the government like Yoga Day celebration and the Sports Ministry – giving recognition to outstanding sportsmen and supporting sports & games in a big way with proper training and talent search are important to bring awareness of obesity and the need to curb it.
Corporates should contribute to sports academies and tournaments.
The mindset is changing, but we need to do more. We should be a FIT INDIA not FAT INDIA.
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