Traditional diet comprising of pulses, coarse grains and vegetables can help fight obesity, a pressing health problem plaguing Indians, say health experts.
"We should go back to a traditional diet and this can be ensured by giving up junk food items and making fresh vegetables and fruits more affordable for the general population," nutritionist Anjali Mukherjee said at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here.
Mukherjee said it was up to parents to ensure their children pick up good eating habits and put pressure on schools to ensure junk food is not available in canteens.
According to Muffazal Lakdawala, founder, Centre for Obesity and Diabetes Surgery and head of the Department of Minimal Access and Bariatric Surgery, Saifee Hospital, Mumbai, the number of obese has doubled since the 1980s.
"Today, obesity causes more health issues than we know," he said.
Arya M. Sharma, professor of medicine at the University of Alberta, Canada, said: "We don't have a cure for obesity. We are still not able to understand obesity".
Psychoanalyst and writer Susie Orbach blamed industries dealing with fitness for creating an obsession with thinness, especially among women.
"Obesity can also be seen as an eating disorder. We need to understand more why people eat when they are not hungry," she said.
Seeking to explore the psychology behind weight issues, Orbach said: "When people are overeating or under-eating, then they are looking for solutions to their problems".