Updated: Aug 15
As per WHO, obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1975 and have increased almost five times in children and adolescents, affecting people of all ages from all social groups in both developed and developing countries. Obesity is a major risk factors for various lifestyle diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and stroke, and various forms of cancer.
As per National Family Health Survey, India’s obesity levels have doubled in 10 years. Andhra Pradesh leads the stats of highest no. of urban population who are over 25 BMI.
Telangana is amongst the top 5 states with highest levels of obesity.
Obesity especially in Indian conditions is not about excess weight. It is about excess fat. It is essential to note this because many people in high risk category for Lifestyle Diseases are under false sense of security because their weight is within the norms and stable over last several years.
In view of this the Government of India has defined the obesity as “a condition where a person has accumulated abnormal or excessive body fat that causes negative effects on health.
World Health Organization went a step further and categorized Obesity as the first of the so-called "diseases of civilization" to emerge.
Obesity is not only a disease, but a disease in which the human body actively opposes the “cure” in long term despite the initial success of weight loss.
Body does this through coordinated actions of (a) Behavioral (b) Metabolic, (c) Neuroendocrine, and (d) Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) designed to maintain body energy stores (fat) at a Central Nervous System (CNS)- defined “ideal”.
If an individual wants to lose weight and keep it off , all the below four have to be addressed:
Behavioral: One should realize that obesity has developed over several years and losing it also may also take time. So don’t fall prey to quick fixes and crash diets. Have realistic goals like losing 10 %. Consolidate the gains and then aim for losing some more.
Metabolic: To lose weight one has to cut down on the calories without letting the body cut down the calories on its maintenance. To do this calorie deficit in the food should be covered by drawing the calories from fat stores. It is possible through low GL foods.
Neuroendocrine: Obese person is a starving person at cellular level, because most of the food goes into fixed deposit i.e. Fat. Body uses hormones like Insulin, Ghrelin to make the person get energy by eating more and conserve energy by working less. If you observe hungry animal does exactly same. Answer is to keep the blood sugar stable by eating foods that are processed least.
Autonomous Nerves System (ANS): ANS links Gut to the brain and the brain’s decision on the ‘ideal’ weight called ‘Set Point” depends on the information supplied by ANS. This system is so powerful that it is being looked upon as a potential source of new obesity treatment.
The following Indian Healthy Plate can help to lose weight and reduce the BMI
Deepika Chalasani is a Clinical Nutritionist, Mind and Body Transformation Coach and co-founder of Fit4Life India, an integrated nutrition and wellness organisation for Indians that provides complete solutions, addressing health and wellness challenges of individuals by working on their overall well being. Deepika, Dietician & Nutritionist in Hyderabad, India and can be contacted via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mobile +91 94910 11202.