A group of medical practitioners and various professionals have formed a non-government organisation "Association for the Study of Obesity (ASO)" to fight the growing menace of obesity, at Chandigarh, through a general awareness drive.
Members of Association for the Study of Obesity were alarmed at the large number of people in Punjab developing problems related to over-weight and obesity, irrespective of gender or age.
By launching the campaign , this group of professionals including doctors, professionals, industrialists, and educationists, hope to educate people about the alarming problems caused by obesity.
Dr. N.C. Raina, the convenor of Association for the Study of Obesity, said that such an endeavour is necessary to nip the evil in the bud. Obesity need not be visible. It can be determined by calculating BMI (Body Mass Index) - a computation made on the basis of height and weight.
People are considered overweight when they have a BMI of 25 or more, and "obese" when it exceeds 29.9.
The weight-related problems are very high in Punjab, with people of all age groups taking up a luxurious lifestyle that often lacks physical activities and includes poor eating habits.
Raina said: "It is better to tackle the disease at the very early stage than to wait for complications such as diabetes and other things to occur. Therefore, we have to educate the public on this, and educating the public is a huge task."
He said: "There has been nearly a 400 per cent increase in joint replacements in Chandigarh alone in the last five years due to excess tissue weight on weak bones."
Raina added: "There is no government initiative as such on this subject in the country. So we want to motivate people and make them aware, conduct various studies in collaboration with institutions as a cure of obesity, the ideopathogenesis, the genetics part and its prevalence (in various communities)."
Residents in Chandigarh are happy with the commencement of such an anti-obesity campaign since it will help them to keep a strict vigil on their lifestyle.
"Now we will have knowledge about obesity. We will be able to control our weight now. After learning facts about the disease from this seminar, we can go home, check our weight and try to control it," said Jyoti Sibal, a victim of obesity.
Obesity also leads to other ailments like diabetes, raised cholesterol, coronary heart disease and brain strokes.