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Obesity on the rise in India-Lifestyle to blame

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Obesity, fat, junk food, fast food, causes of fast food, causes of junk foodObesity is on the rise in the society due to sedentary lifestyle followed by people. Nowadays people are glued to their television or mobile phones and they seldom walk. Lack of exercise and following unhealthy food is another reason responsible for rise in obesity. Once considered as a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low and middle income countries particularly in urban settings.

When our correspondent Nikhil Sagare spoke to Dr Ramesh Bharmal, Nair Hospital Dean he said, “People’s lifestyle has changed. Obesity has become a lifestyle disease. People’s eating habits have changed due to fast food culture. Children are served food containing fat instead of nutritious food. Due to obesity blood pressure increases, diabetes, heart attack and kidney disease occurs. For overcoming obesity people will have to stop fast food culture and perform regular exercise.”

Obesity in India has reached epidemic proportions in the 21st century. More than 135 million individuals were affected by obesity in India. The prevalence of obesity in India varies due to age, socio economic status, gender and geographical environment. Several studies have shown the prevalence of obesity in women were significantly higher as compared to men. India is following a trend of other developing countries that are steadily becoming more obese.

Dr Shujat Ali Rizvi said, “Junk, food and lifestyle is responsible for obesity. Moreover, people sit at their home and don’t go out which is further affecting their health.”

A report on fitness levels of Corporate India by HealthifyMe health and fitness app revealed that 63 per cent of executives are overweight. The report has been compiled by reviewing the diet and activity levels of close to 60,000 working professionals across 20 plus companies over a period of 12 months. These professionals range from factory workers, sales professionals, IT professionals, bankers, and others in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata and remote locations like Jhagadiya, Khandala, and Vapi.

Dr Niranjan Shirsagar said, “Obesity is rising due to sedentary lifestyle. A person’s weight is calculated as per his age. A BMI of 25 is considered normal. A person with a BMI of more than 25 is asked to reduce weight. Genetic factors, junk food, lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle, lack of outdoor activity, playing games on mobile and laptop are responsible for rise in obesity. Due to obesity people are prone to blood pressure, diabetes, paralysis. People should do exercise, walking and jogging. They should have natural food, plenty of water, avoid junk food.”

The professionals were in the 21 to 60  years age group. When it comes to the number of steps taken in a day, an important indicator of activity levels, consumer goods sector has taken the pole position with a count of 5,988 when it comes to average steps taken in a day.  The least active are executives from the financial sector who have an average count of just 4,969 steps. While, executives from other sectors like retail, manufacturing, marketing and IT take upwards of 5,000 steps. Lack of sleep, huge stress and food irregularities and lifestyle are the reasons.

Unhealthy, processed food has become much more accessible following India’s continued integration in global food markets. This, combined with rising middle class incomes, is increasing the average caloric intake per individual among middle class and high income households. Obesity is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, NGOs such as the Indian Heart Association have been raising awareness about this issue

Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It results from the accumulation of excess fat on the body. It is a medical problem that increases the risk of other diseases and health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. The BMI is a calculation that takes a person’s weight and height into account. Weight gain occurs when a person eats more calories than his body uses up.

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