27 November 2021
India is the third most obese nation with more than 13.5 crore people suffering from the modern-day disease of obesity, surpassed only by China and the US. With a teeming population of young millennials, dealing with medical conditions that arise from obesity, such as hypertension, sleep apnea, diabetes (India has 80 million diabetics), joint problems, heart disease, and respiratory issues can thwart the progress of the nation.
The World Obesity Federation recognizes obesity as a “chronic, relapsing, progressive disease process, associated with co morbidities such as diabetes, sleep apnea, high blood pressure and infertility.”A recent study also linked morbid obesity to 13 types of cancer. Though India has historically battled malnutrition, the number of obese people in the country has doubled in the last 10 years – and this trend is pronounced in urban areas. In urban Amritsar, more than one-third of the population is obese – and this proportion is higher in women, of whom an astounding 42% are obese!
Dr Amit Sood, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgeon, Director of Ckosmic Surgical Center, Moga while interacting with media persons at Amritsar today explained why obesity should not be taken lightly, “Obesity is a complex disease that can impact the physical, mental and socio-economic well-being of the individual. In my clinical experience, obesity in women is associated with depression. This can fuel a vicious cycle – if you don’t feel good, you eat comfort food. Unfortunately, the impact is not only devastating for the individual but also for their personal life – increasingly, obese patients are reporting marital problems that even lead to divorce.”
Dr. Sood added, “The most common cause of rising obesity now-a-days is sedentary life style and social habits that lead to frequent dining out. There is an increasing tendency to eat junk food or overeat at buffets. Usually, these large meals are accompanied by high alcohol consumption. Having said that, obesity is a multifactorial disease and can run in families due to genetic factors. Such families should take extreme care in their lifestyle and dietary habits.”
Obesity can also affect children. “Lack of outdoor activities can fuel childhood obesity. These days, children are given mobile phones and laptops which they may find more entertaining than playing outside. Not only does this lead to the risk of obesity, but also to Vitamin D deficiency – which is a risk factor for both osteoarthritis and diabetes.”
Obesity is a disease that needs immediate intervention only by a Bariatric and Weight loss specialist and the government is also taking strong steps to halt the increasing incidence.
To help ensure that severe obesity is treated with proven methods, insurance coverage of obesity treatment is a key policy step. Dr. Amit Sood emphasized, “In my experience, most patients avoid seeking obesity treatment due to financial concerns. Covering its treatment with insurance would cement awareness and encourage many patients to seek appropriate medical treatment.”Some people even question whether they should spend money on a ‘cosmetic’ need? Obesity is a serious medical condition should be taken in account as early as possible to avoid any serious medical condition to happen. If you look good and you feel healthy you will feel more confident and you can definitely live a happier life. Who doesn’t want to have a disease-free life?
There is rampant misinformation about obesity treatment, so right scientific therapy is the need of the hour.
Dr. Amit Sood (MS), Pioneer Bariatric & Metabolic Surgeon of North India is the Director at Ckosmic Surgical Centers and will soon be holding appointment based OPD in the Amritsar City.