- Obesity is a public health threat. In the past two decades, the prevalence of obesity has doubled in adults and children and tripled in adolescents.
- The Anti-obesity Day is observed on 26th November to raise awareness to combat obesity.
- Globally, 39% of adults are overweight and 13% and obese. Forty-one million children under the age of 5 are obese.
- Obesity is preventable with healthy food choices and regular physical activity.
The anti-obesity day was an initiative launched in 2001 by VLCC, an Indian wellness brand founded by Vandana Luthra. The aim of the campaign was to promote good lifestyle habits to prevent obesity and lead a healthy life. The campaign received wide media coverage and became an annual event. Counseling sessions, health camps, and talk shows are some of the events organized on the day. The fight against obesity is not just for one day; the message and efforts should spread over across the globe and also for future generations. Some of the activities on the anti-obesity day include diet plan and simple ways to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes.
‘Being physically active and eating a healthy diet will help you lose weight and keep weight off over time. ’
AdvertisementObesity and Overweight - A public Health Threat
Obesity is a condition in which excess body fat is accumulated in the body and may cause serious health problems. A person with a body mass index (BMI) greater than or equal to 25 is overweight, and a person with a BMI greater than or equal to 30 is considered Obese. Obesity and overweight are the major risk factors for some chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart diseases, cancer, and osteoarthritis. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognized obesity as a global epidemic in 1997 and this isrising drastically in the recent years. Obesity was once considered as a high-income country issue. Currently, obesity and overweight are more common in the low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban settings.
- Obesity has more than doubled between 1980 and 2014
- More than 1.9 billion are overweight, and over 600 millions are obese
- About 41 million children under the age of 5 years are overweight or obese
- Obesity is more prevalent among women than men
- In Africa, more than 10.6 million children are overweight or obese
- About 37% of the American adults are obese
- Nearly 62% of the adults in the UK are overweight or obese
- India is the third most obese country
Obesity is preventable with healthy lifestyle choices, well-balanced diet, and regular exercise. However, it requires a lot of effort and commitment to achieve the goal. It is impossible to shed all the extra kilos in a short period of time. A gradual and sustainable weight loss is more effective than a sudden change in weight. A successful weight loss regimen includes low-calorie and nutritious diet, physical activity, and another option is weight loss surgery (bariatric surgery).
Healthy Diet Plan
A healthy diet plan nourishes the body with vital nutrients. A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, and sugar.
- Whole grain- Avoid white bread and go for whole grain or multi-grain bread
- Protein- Choose lean meat without skin
- Low-fat dairy products- skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt
- Oil- Replace cooking oil with canola and olive oil
- Salt - Avoid pickles, chips, and canned foods
- Sugar - Avoid carbonated beverages and diet sodas
- Herbs and spices - Include parsley, thyme, rosemary, basil cinnamon and cloves to enhance flavor
- Nuts and seeds- Eat unsalted nuts like almonds and walnuts
A weight loss diet involves calorie restriction, but at the same time provide adequate nutrition. Excess calorie intake leads to weight gain. Calorie intake for a person on a weight loss regimen should be limited to 1,200 to 1,500 calories (women) and 1,500 to 1,800 (men).
Exercises are important to burn more calories and shed excess weight. The type and duration of exercise may vary from person to person. Moderate-intensity physical activity such as brisk walking for five days a week can be beneficial. Regular physical activity boosts energy, reduces stress and improves overall health.
A healthy weight loss can be achieved with behavioral modification program to incorporate healthy lifestyle changes. Examine your current habits that have contributed to obesity. Behavioral therapy such as counseling and support groups can help tailor behavior changes to address individual concerns.
Weight Loss Surgery
For people who are morbidly obese and who have been unsuccessful in losing weight, weight loss surgery could be an option. Weight loss surgery, also known as bariatric surgery is a procedure that includes banded gastroplasty and Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. These types of surgical procedures involve sealing off most of the stomach to reduce the quantity of food consumed and aid in weight loss.
Other tips to aid in weight loss include
- Set realistic goals to follow a healthy weight loss regimen
- Keep a record such as a food and activity log
- Identify and avoid food triggers
- Seek help from family and friends