India has the third highest number of obese people & this number is growing at a disturbing rate. A person is considered obese if the weight is above 20% or more above normal weight.
The most common measure of obesity is the body mass index or BMI. In Asian countries, a person is considered overweight if his or her BMI is between 25 & 29.9; Obese if his or her BMI is over 30.
The Health Risks associated with obesity:-
The most common obesity related diseases include:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Gallbladder disease
- Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Sleep apnea and respiratory problems
Causes of Obesity:-
If the individual is taking more calories than they are able to burn over an extended period of time then they are said to move towards Obesity. There are 3 main causes for it:
Behavior: Behavior relates to the kind of food consumed, physical activity and the efforts to maintain your health. Based on food choices, we can see people selecting diets that are calorie-rich, but nutrient-poor.
Environment: Environment plays a key role in shaping an individual’s habits and lifestyle. Society now has developed a more sedentary lifestyle. Most of the basic physical activity has been replaced by Technology. Most of our nutritious food has been replaced by Fast Foods.
Genetics: Genes can also cause certain disorders which result in obesity. However, not all individuals who are predisposed to obesity become obese. Research is currently underway to determine which genes contribute most to obesity.
Diet: Obese people should reduce the intake of high calorie diet. The best way is to avoid fast food, processed food and sugary drinks. They should follow a healthy diet.
A healthy diet should consist of:
- Lot of fruits and vegetables
- potatoes, bread, rice & other starchy foods
- Small quantity of meat, fish,eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein
Try to avoid foods containing high levels of salt as these can raise your blood pressure, which can be dangerous in people who are already obese.
Exercise: You should carry out moderate intensity physical activity which will increase your heart and breathing rate. For example: Fast walking, Jogging, Swimming, Tennis.
Choose physical activities that you enjoy, as you are more likely to continue doing them. You should aim to start gradually. For example, start off by doing 15 to 20 minutes of exercise five times a week and then build on it.