The Chandigarh-based Association for Study of Obesity (ASO) has started an initiative to help obese people overcome their problems related with weight.
Obesity is a major health concern, especially in the urban areas of Punjab, where eating habits and lifestyles knock the body out of shape.
Dr. R C Raina, the Convenor of ASO said: "We have nearly one billion over-weight adults globally, out of which around 300 million are clinically obese."
Raina, however, laments the lack of formal data on obesity, particularly in North India.One of the objectives of the ASO is to compile data on this.
Hundreds of obese people in Chandigarh have already registered with the association, and are hopeful of shedding those extra kilos soon.
J M Bhatia, a victim of obesity, said: "Increase in my weight caught me by surprise. I now know that consumption of high-calorie meals causes obesity."
ASO is a first-of-a-kind attempt jointly made by doctors, industrialists, educationalists and NGOs to fight obesity.
Jyoti Sibal, another victim of obesity, said "If we all are aware about obesity, we will be able to control our weight. We will take appropriate steps to bring our bodies back to normal."
A striking fact is that many people do not realise when they become obese.
Prabhat Chand, another obese person, said "Before I felt I was over-weight. Now, I realise that I am not only over-weight, but also obese. The medical tests like Body Mass Indices (MBI) and body-weight made me conscious to be careful about weight increase."
Obesity causes many lifestyle diseases - diabetes, joint pain, coronary heart disease and skin disorders.Those who adopt the principle of "eat healthy live healthy" will be among the happier lot.
According to Dr. Pradeep Chowbey, an Indian expert on the causes of obesity, the number of overweight people in India, 2.1 billion, is equal to the number of underweight people.