Thursday, March 17, 2011

Obesity in India. 19.3.11

Obesity is the second commonest preventable cause of death in the world next to smoking. It has been definitely shown by studies that overweight state leads to an early death. If one is able to control the weight, then there is longevity of life as the complications of obesity do not occur .

Overweight status is increasing all over the world and India is no exception to this phenomenon.India's National Family Health Survey indicates that more than 20 percent of urban Indians are overweight or obese. And in the northwestern state of Punjab, nearly 40 percent of all women are overweight or obese. Morbid obesity in India has increased to 5% of the Indian population,

Every sixth diabetic in the world is an Indian - earning India the title "the world's diabetes capital." Indians store more body fat per kilogram than Europeans.Obesity increases the chances of getting diabetes in Indians .

Half a decade ago, obesity and diabetes were found among the middle and upper classes. Now obesity is increasing among the poor population as well. This may well be due to the inexpensive easily accessible fast food and oily snacks ever so popular in the slums.

Children too have an increasing incidence of obesity.The prevalence of overweight and obesity was higher in the high income group as compared children of the middle and low income groups.This may be largely due to the fact that the food is taken with much fatty contents and less of physical activity.

There exists a distinct possibility that with better patient education and community teaching, the factors causing the obesity in children and adults can be effectively dealt with and the associated diabetes and cardiac illness can be minimized and in many instances prevented.

Dr John AC Thanakumar

Senior Consultant

Minimal Access , Bariatric and Gastrointestinal Surgery

Global Hospital, Chennai.

Email: drjact