Bengaluru: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has warned that more than one-fifth of adults worldwide could be obese in a decade if the present trend continues. It’s a worrying prediction as obesity is a key factor in rising diabetes among people.
Going by a study in the Lancet Medical Journal, today 640 million people are obese world-wide, six times the number in 1975. The rate has tripled for men and doubled for women, it reveals.
In fact, the world’s population has become on an average 1.5 kg heavier each decade for the last 40 years, it adds. And in the last few years, the average body mass index (BMI) rose to 24.2 from 21.7 in men, and to 24.4 from 22.1 in women. City doctors say it is time to take these warnings seriously and for people to change their sedentary lifestyles.
Noting that the co-relation between diabetes and obesity is quite evident, especially of the type 2 kind which is prevalent in urban India, Dr Ashish Shah of Fortis Hospital, recalls that a study released by the government in 2008 had predicted that India could become the diabesity (obesity and diabetics) capital of the world as early as 2020.
“Again this will result in other diseases like hypertension, high cholesterol, increased strokes, and cancers even among those in the 25 to 35 age group. Today it has become routine to see a 30 year old with a heart problem, but 10 years ago this was very rare,” he says.
Ms Vandana Luthra, founder and vice chairperson, VLCC, blames the dietary transition from the traditional nutritional cuisine to fast foods for the growing obesity in the country and the greater onset of type 2 diabetes among the people.
“Maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle based on nutrition and regular physical activity can prevent type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet that involves low glycemic index food, eating every one or two hours, a brisk walk before meals and regular exercise are some of the preventive measures that can be taken,” she suggests.
Dr Rajeshwari Janakiraman, consultant endocrinologist with Columbia Asia regrets that most people today lack physical activity and indulge in food that has hardly any fibre “Consequently, the body starts generating more fat. After a time when it cannot produce more insulin, the risk of diabetes sets in.
Today when most children are hooked onto computers and smart phones, parents should make sure they have some physical activity to keep them fit,” she stresses....