Anti-Obesity day is observed on 26th November to highlight how Obesity is a public health hazard. Obesity in India Has Grown Two-Folds in the Last 10 Years as reported by NDTV.
- As per the latest report of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-4), the number of obese or overweight people has doubled in the last 10 years in India.
- India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China
These statistics on Obesity are surely alarming and surely a cause for concern. Especially since our country has a very large young population. If these trends continue, it won’t be a surprise when we will also observe an increasing trend in many other diseases as well.
What is Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have a negative effect on health.(Wikipedia).
An important measurement that we must watch is our Body Mass Index or BMI. BMI is measured by dividing the person’s weight by the square of his height.
BMI = Weight (kg)/ height*height(mts)
People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI) is over 30 kg/m2,with the range 25–30 kg/m2 defined as overweight.
Obesity and physical health
Our body functions normally at its ideal weight. Any extra weight is definitely going to add stain to various organs and cause an adverse impact. Dr. Mercola has charted 20 different diseases and conditions directly attributed to being overweight. Listing some of these common occurring ones at a glance
- Diabetes, a disorder where the pancreas is not producing enough or sometimes not any insulin
- Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition in which cysts develop in your ovaries. These can burst, causing even further problems.
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease happens when stomach acid and juices flow from your stomach back up into your esophagus. It is common in overweight people.
- Erectile dysfunction is the inability to develop or maintain an erection, caused by a medical problem due to obesity.
- Urinary incontinence is the inability to control urination often due to obesity, weak bladder, and pelvic floor muscles
- Cellulitis is a spreading infection, involving both the dermis and subcutaneous skin tissues, resulting from poor lymph flow caused by obesity.
- Stroke where the cause is a lack of blood supply to your brain.
- Congestive heart failure is a condition in which your heart can’t pump enough blood to your body’s other organs
- Enlarged heart is another heart condition where the muscle of your heart becomes larger due to being overworked, which naturally happens if you are overweight.
- Pulmonary embolism is a sometimes fatal blockage of an artery. Being overweight causes most people to reduce activity, and after time, lack of activity can result in an embolism
Obesity and mental health
Along with impacting physical health, obesity also impacts mental health. One of the most common impacts is Low self-esteem which could eventually lead to Depression. This low esteem could make the person feel miserable constantly, even to the point of being suicidal.
Evidence from the SOS study indicates that clinically significant depression is three to four times higher in severely obese individuals than in similar non-obese individuals.
Another commonly occurring problems that come with obesity is eating disorders. Eating disorders could be
- Anorexia or starving yourself
- Bulimia which is excessive eating, and then ridding yourself of the food by vomiting, abusing laxatives or diuretics
- Binge eating where one eats much more than a normal person does without having any control
Obesity also affects sleep and memory too
Thus it is important to keep a track of your BMI on a regular basis. Obesity has multiple causes but it is not difficult to treat. Watch this space for treatment and prevention of obesity