In observance of World Obesity Day on 11th October every year, it is important to understand the rising cause of Obesity, and how vital it is to get oneself checked in time, to avoid increasing morbidity in the future.
Obesity is divided into three categories: Overweight, Obese and Morbid Obesity. As the number of overweight and obese Indians are surging, so are the number of those who are severely or morbidly obese.
We all live in a society where physical appearance is given more value, and subsequently many people who suffer from severe to morbid obesity feel weakened or feel like a failure.
This will further impact one’s social environment, relationship with friends or loved ones, lowers self-esteem and affects overall personal & professional life.
We all come to a stage where a pair of pants or a dress suddenly feels too tight, climbing few stairs which was easy before, suddenly seems like a trek up a mountain. One might start feeling tired, feeling apain in the hip and back or one may just feel tired all the time during the day.
As a growing health problem in the country, according to a study, about 15% of Indians in 2015 were obese; the numbers showed an upward surge, primarily because of adoption of sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.
Over the past few years, it is seen that ‘thinness’ or ‘body perfection’ has evolved into a standard of beauty, which is considered as an achievement, a reward for maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise. However, such superficial beliefs lead to discrimination which creates heightened negativity in minds of people who were obese or overweight.
The health of a person cannot be measured or defined; therefore it cannot be explained by a person’s weight or appearance. Many people, who are thin, also follow an unhealthy lifestyle, yet they don’t gain weight; this differs from person to person.
So for people who are obese or overweight the first and foremost step is to positively alter their lifestyle, control diet, regularly exercise and avoid stress. It is also vital, especially for their family and friends, to avoid blaming them for being overweight or obese, instead support them in reducing weight.
Positivity and motivation from friends and family will go a long way in the pursuit of health body weight.
It is seen that the prevalence of obesity has substantially increased, and it is significantly important to raise awareness on this issue now before it is too late. There are several risk factors associated when a person is overweight or obese. Following are the risk factors that one must be aware of:
- Sleeping problems
- Heart-related diseases
- Increased blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Gall Bladder disease
- Arthritis or problems related to joint pains
- Chances of developing Cancer
- Sexual health problems
- Psychological/emotional stress
- Kidney and Liver disease
- Developing Asthma
- Menstrual problems
You should seek help from your Physician and a certified Nutritionist or Dietician, who will guide you along the way to healthy weight loss. Achieving ideal body weight is possible, and you can make it possible!
(Writer is Dr. Sharad Sharma,Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgeon, Hiranandani hospital Vashi- A Fortis Network Hospital. Views expressed are personal opinion.)