With nearly 30 percent of Indians suffering from obesity, people may be blaming their food habits. But doctors in the capital Thursday said the real cause of this ailment lies in "the brain". "We are not giving a clean chit to food and lifestyle habits for this disease but metabolic activities in the brain is a major cause of this ailment," said Surendra Kumar, head, department of endocrinology and metabolism at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.
"Certain activities in the brain affect our genes and food intake. Due to this development, over 70 percent of intake calories get deposited in our body leading to problems like obesity and diabetes," Kumar told IANS. He said when a person becomes obese, it continues for at least the three next generations. "If a person acquires obesity by himself without any contribution from his forefathers, then his next three generations will suffer from the ailment," he said.
Health experts from South Asian countries are converging in Delhi from Saturday to debate the issue, Kumar said, adding that the two-day SAARC Obesity and Diabetes Conference will help exchange ideas, scientific knowledge and personal experiences about the disease.
"New medical procedures like surgery, stem cell therapy, gene therapy, insulin inhaler and other upcoming cheap but efficient drugs to tackle obesity and diabetes problems will be discussed at the conference," S.P. Bayotra, a senior doctor of the hospital that is organizing the international conference, told reporters.
Health experts said currently nearly 30 percent of Indians are overweight and at least 50 percent of the country's population will suffer from this problem in next one decade.
"Obesity is no more a disease of the adult and male population. Females and minors are getting affected by it too," Kumar said. He said while 57 percent of obese people suffer from Type-2 diabetes, 30 percent face gallbladder diseases, 14 percent osteoarthritis, 17 percent face hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Some also face problems like uterine and breast cancer.
"The problem is obesity leads to many health hazards and at one time a single individual may face a number of ailments," Bayotra added. Kumar also said for every one diabetes case diagnosed in our country, two cases go undiagnosed and four cases have intolerable glucose level, which means they are on the verge of getting diabetic.
Both Bayotra and Kumar will be heading the discussion at the SAARC diabetes conference.