India can now boast of
economic progress, technological advancement and better opportunities, making
it a much desired place to live in. Yet, growing affluence has come with a
price, the burden of lifestyle diseases caused by comfortable sedentary living.
Being 'out of shape' is now a common sight among both the young and the old,
which is changing the shape of things to come.
Presently, one in 6
women and one in 5 men are overweight in India. Indeed, there is a dire need to
trim, as obesity figures are bulging dangerously at a staggering 70 million in
India. The increasing bulge of India's burgeoning population is directly
proportional to its burden on health. In India, malnutrition and obesity are
two coexisting extremes which contribute to leading causes of death.
Unbelievable as it may
sound, India is in the forefront of an obesity epidemic. The campaign against
obesity is much needed and November 26th, 2011 is dedicated as Anti-Obesity
Day in India. The anti-obesity initiatives for 2011, hover around creating
awareness about obesity, its health risks and the best ways to manage weight.
'Weight' and Watch
The problem is that as
we grow richer, we are unable to resist the temptation to eat rich food. These
days, one does not need an excuse to hit the restaurants with increasing
frequency. If one were to read about the growing numbers of obese children, it is as if Indian
parents are fed with the ideology that being fat equals to being healthy.
Today, it is no longer
a lean childhood, as most children are having trouble carrying their own
weight. There is immense trouble brewing, for 17 % of the youngsters in the age
group of 14-18 in India are overweight or obese.
The agile, energetic
and full of beans children a generation ago have been replaced with sluggish, overweight and inactive kids,
who prefer to bite into crispies and hold on to their Nintendos in the cool
comfort of their homes. Experiencing the sheer joy of playing outside is sadly
passé, as the virtual world holds our youngsters to ransom. Ostensibly, obesity
affects more than 30% of children, and is one of the most chronic diseases of
Obesity has a deep
impact on a child's life. Obesity opens up a Pandora box of health issues, and
emotional troubles. Most often, obese children grow up to be obese adults,
enhancing their risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke in
How can we be fit when
we look up to fat? May sound clichéd, but fat parents raise fat kids. So the
problem has to be tackled at its source.
Parents must watch
what they eat as children emulate their habits. In effect, parents must be good
role-models for their children. Further, parents must lead by example in terms
of engaging in regular physical activity. Encouraging children to play
outdoors, motivating them with incentives and ensuring they eat right can go a
long way in ensuring healthy children.
Reasons to Fight
Obesity triggers 53 diseases.
Obesity alters blood pressure, cholesterol levels and triglycerides, which can
lead to life-threatening health conditions.
Obesity causes insulin resistance leading to Diabetes.
Obesity is also the primary cause of many non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
1. A balanced diet
with adequate amounts of vegetables, proteins, and fruits is the key to eating
right and managing weight. Include more fiber in the diet and make sure to avoid
junk food, snacks and bakery products.
2. Regular exercise
4-5 times a week is an absolute must to prevent obesity.
3. Monitor weight
On Anti-obesity day, let us endeavor to raise a
food smart generation who will shape the destiny of India and take it towards a