Alcohol, junk food and carefree city lifestyle are pushing youths in Delhi and neighbouring regions more towards obesity, majority of whom don't even consider it as a disorder or are aware of the health risks it entails.
The "shocking" finding has come in a study conducted on over 1,000 people from Delhi and neighbouring region, in the age group of 20-45 over the last one month.
"In the survey, over 80 per cent of the respondents (both men and women) said they had a Body-Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 kg/sq m, but only about 21 per cent considered themselves as obese or overweight.
"This is both shocking and distressing that the youth don't even consider obesity as a disorder or a disease, let alone be aware of the health risk it could trigger," Dr Pradeep Chowbey, Chairman of Max Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery, told PTI.
The study, titled, 'Perception and Awareness Regarding Bariatric Surgical Procedure & It's Benefits' was conducted by a third-party on behalf of Max Healthcare across all zones of Delhi and NCR to investigate attitudes and experiences of general Delhi population towards obesity and weight-loss surgery.
"Alcohol, junk food consumption which has become part of the carefree urban lifestyle is actually wreaking havoc on people's health in metros like Delhi, and the worst-affected age group is 20-30 years. And, women are getting affected more than men," he said.
According to Dr Chowbey, the normal limit for BMI (body weight/height squared) is 22.5 kg/sq m but, youth in Delhi, which showed even, 27.5 on BMI scale during the survey, marked themselves as "not obese".
"What is more worrying is that majority of the respondents (70 per cent) did not know that hypertension is associated with obesity, or that it could trigger diabetes, what we call as diabesity," he said.
Dr Chowbey said obesity can also result in grave health consequences like heart diseases, joint problems, kidney problems, sleep apnea and depression to name a few.
Incidentally, all respondents knew that obesity could trigger heart ailments.
As per the survey, 65.4 per cent men as against 73.6 per cent women didn't know that obesity could lead to joint problems, 93.5 per cent men versus 76.8 per cent women didn't know about kidney problems with obesity.
Also, 50 per cent men versus 63 per cent women agreed that obesity can be a cause for infidelity in a relationship.
Dr Chowbey said, "At Max Healthcare, on an average nearly 300-400 people from Delhi are coming for bariatric surgery, out of which about 50 are being operated per month. And, women constitute nearly 60 per cent of the cases."
The study also found out that nearly 95 per cent men versus 96.2 per cent women didn't know about sleep apnea and obesity, and over 80 per cent men and more than 82 per cent women didn't know about diabetes and obesity.