Chennai: Leaving obesity untreated is too dangerous, say doctors

DECCAN CHRONICLE.
Published Nov 24, 2018, 4:49 am IST
Updated Nov 24, 2018, 4:50 am IST
The weather is hot round the year, which decreases the inclination for physical activity.
Patients with diabesity have seven-fold increase in mortality when compared to healthy individuals. (Representation image)
 Patients with diabesity have seven-fold increase in mortality when compared to healthy individuals. (Representation image)

Chennai: Obesity in Chennai is driven by a combination of environmental, cultural and genetic factors being associated with type 2 diabetes and other serious ailments. Therefore, leaving obesity untreated is too dangerous, said experts at a discussion on problems related to obesity ahead of World anti-obesity day on Friday.

The World Obesity Federation recognises obesity as a “chronic, relapsing, progressive disease process, also one of the major risk factors for diabetes.” By 2030, nearly one-fifth of total diabetic cases globally will belong to India, according to a report.

 

Currently, India’s population is the third-most obese in the world. In Tamil Nadu, 43 percent of people are clinically overweight or obese.  Patients with diabesity have seven-fold increase in mortality when compared to healthy individuals. 

Dr. Rajkumar Palianappan, director, Institute of Bariatrics, Apollo Hospitals observes that obesity in Chennai is driven by a combination of environmental, cultural and genetic factors.

“The weather is hot round the year, which decreases the inclination for physical activity. Culturally, even non-vegetarians in Chennai eat meat only once or twice a week, which leads to a high-carb, high-fat diet,” he said.

Obese women have higher risk of breast cancer, and this risk increases multi-fold as they age. 

Dr. Neha Shah, director and chief consultant, Chennai Obesity and Gastro Surgeons Centre said that in addition to increasing disease burden, obesity also has a profound psychological impact on women. Thus, they are prone to a vicious cycle - they get depressed due to obesity, and to feel better, they eat more sugary and fatty ‘comfort food,” said Dr Neha.

To stem the rise of diabesity, recognition of obesity as a medical condition is the key. “By raising awareness that obesity is a serious disease that can trigger other diseases and decrease mobility, we can ensure that it is treated effectively. Physicians and surgeons can work in concert to treat obese patients. This will help ensure that patients get the best treatment that medicine, lifestyle alternations and surgery can offer,” said Dr Baskaran Vasudevan, senior consultant, surgical gastroenterology, minimal access and bariatric surgery at MIOT Hospitals.

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