● Obesity turning out to be major health issue for women in Haryana, with around 21% affected by National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2017.
● Obesity poses a greater challenge to India than pollution as India is the 5th most obese nation in the world.
● Unchecked obesity increases chances of diabetes and hypertension, which increases chances of stroke, cardiac arrest, liver diseases, and vision loss.
A 35-year-old Neelam was suffering from obesity from an early onset at the age of six. Initially, her condition was ignored by terming her as a healthy child, and she went on to weigh 180 kg. Neelam had to find a practical solution for her worsening situation. When she was diagnosed at Paras Hospital in Panchkula, she was taken aback to learn that she was suffering from diabetes and acute kidney failure. She was admitted in a Gurgaon hospital for urgent medical intervention.
India ranks amongst the top five countries in terms of obesity. The latest data presented by NFHS study states that in Haryana 21% of women are obese compared to the data of 2004-2005 where the percentage was 12% thus witnessing a staggering jump of approximately 10 percent.
Dr. Monica Agarwal Consultant Obstetrics and Gynaecology Paras Bliss Panchkula says, “When Neelam was brought to us, she was suffering from acute kidney failure and diabetes. Obesity directly causes hypertension and anxiety issues. It also affects the health of expectant mothers. Obesity during pregnancy has health consequences for both the mother and the unborn child. The obese mother may suffer from hypertension and resultant diabetes. Obesity increases maternal and offspring morbidity. Glucose control and regular exercise helps maintain mobility in the body essential for pregnant obese mothers .Even though Neelam wasn’t pregnant, being obese could harm her livelihood.”
In Haryana 21,652 women and 3,380 men were enrolled in the survey, and 21% women were found to be obese. Obesity has become a global epidemic now. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were about 2.3 billion overweight people aged 15 years and above and over 600 million obese people worldwide in 2015.Obesity is the fifth leading cause of death in India resulting in around 2.8 million deaths of adults globally every year. Obese children in India amount to 14.4 million. The statistics are staggering.
On preventive measures and treatment options against obesity, Dr. Ashish Kumar Arora Consultant Internal Medicine and Critical care Medicine Paras Bliss Panchkula explains “It is often estimated that obesity and being overweight are one and the same thing. Being overweight doesn’t necessarily make you obese but you are closer to obesity. Regular health checkups, dietary regulations, exercising for mobility contribute to recovering from obesity. Giving up on alcohol and smoking would cut down the long-term risks of heart strokes, thyroid complications, kidney or multiple organ failure. Exercising doesn’t suffice and should be paired with nutritious diet. The body mass index should not be more than 20. Physicians should follow the five A’s of weight loss- Ask, Advise, Assess, Assist, and Arrange.”
People with obesity are at high risk for other related co-morbidities. It one of the major factors for diabetes and hypertension and can ultimately lead to cardiac arrest, stroke, kidney diseases, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea and many other diseases. Fortunately, it is one of the factors which are largely under human control.
Due to rapid globalization and increasing in unhealthy dietary habits, India is witnessing rise in obesity. The lack of mobility due to increasing virtual spaces and gadgets has made us passive and lazy. More and more young adults are turning up for weight reduction through bariatric surgery. If current trends continue, India would set off another health alarm.