Obesity management

Obesity affects 5% of India’s population and is close to being an epidemic. Overeating and low physical activity results in obesity. Genetic  predisposition is also one of the contributory factors.

BMI, the ratio of weight to height, indicates the amount of body fat.

Normal BMI is between 18.5 and 25.A BMI between 25-30 is considered overweight and above 30 shows obesity. Less than 18.5 indicates chronic under nutrition.

Fat around the waist(male type obesity) is far more dangerous than fat around the hips(female type obesity).Waist to hip circumference ratio of more than 0.9 in males and 0.85 in females indicates risk of chronic diseases.

Hazards of obesity

  • Overweight results in heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, gall stones, cancer and arthritis.
  • Obesity leads to raised levels of LDL(bad cholesterol) and triglycerides and lowers HDL(good cholesterol).It also raises glucose and insulin in blood.

Due to increased prevalence of coronary artery disease, hypertension and Diabetes in India, It’s vital to maintain a desirable body weight for height and avoid obesity.

Causes of Obesity

  • Overeating and low physical activity are surely a cause.
  • Insulin also favours fat deposition.
  • Higher birth weight, obesity in childhood and adolescence can cause adult obesity.
  • Failure to maintain energy balance(intake=output).

Risk group

  • Adults gain weight in between 25-50 years.
  • In women it occurs around pregnancy and menopause.
  • Overfeeding infants and children may cause adult obesity.
  • Less breast fed infants.

Manage Body weight

  1. Weight loss programs have to be gradual and as per the individual requirement.
  2. Loss of 1/2 a kg per week is considered safe.
  3. Child obesity is corrected by increased physical activity.
  4. Modify your dietary habits .
  5. Fat intake should be limited.
  6. Prefer plant foods with complex carbs and fibre as they lower blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides.
  7. Focus on having a high protein ,low carb and low fat diet.
  8. Plenty of fruits and vegetables provide satiety and provide micronutrients.
  9. Frequent fasting to be avoided.
  10. Eat small meals at frequent intervals and exercise regularly.
  11. Take professional advice of a doctor and dietitian.
  12. Avoid sugar and alcohol.
  13. Adopt stress management techniques(Yoga and meditation).

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