By Dr. Kulin R Shah, Endocrinology
Obesity in India has reached epidemic proportion, with morbid obesity affecting 5% of the country’s population.
It is characterized by excessive body fat. People who are medically obese usually are affected by behaviour, genetic, & environmental factors that are difficult to control with dieting. Obesity increases the likelihood of certain diseases & other health related problems.
WHO IS AFFECTED?
The phenomenon is global & about 30 million Indians are obese. It is predicted to double in next 5 years.
HOW IS OBESITY CALCULATED?
It is most commonly calculated using BMI
BMI is a number calculated by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by height in meter square
BMI = Weight in kilogram/height in meter square
What are the health hazards of overweight &obesity?
These individuals are at risk of developing multiple health problems
- Heart disease
- Gall bladder disease
- Sleep Apnoea
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Polycystic ovarian disease
Weight loss can help improve the harmful effectcs of being overweight & obese
WHAT CAUSES OBESITY?
Obesity is due to an individual taking in more calories than they burn over an extended period of time. These “extra” calories are stored as fat. Although there are several factors that can lead to this energy imbalance in obese individuals, the main contributors are behavioural, environmental, & genetics.
In today’s fast paced environment, it is easy to adopt unhealthy behaviours that relate to food choices, amount of physical activity, &the effort to maintain your health.
It plays a key role in shaping individuals habits & key lifestyle. Society has developed a more sedentary life style. Basic physical activity has been replaced by technology & nutrition has been replaced by fastfood.
Genes can cause certain disorders which result in obesity. However, not all individuals who are predisposed to obesity become obese
WHAT ARE THE SOCIAL EFFECTS OF OBESITY?
Individuals affected by obesity often face obstacles far beyond health risks. Emotional suffering may be one of the most painful part of obesity. Society often emphasizes the importance of physical appearance. People who are obese often face prejudice or discrimination in the job market, at school & in the social situation.
WHAT TREATMENTS ARE AVAILABLE FOR OBESITY?
It is important to talk to your physician before beginning any weight loss program. There are several methods for treating obesity such as behavioural modification, physical activity, medically managed weight loss, & surgical treatment.