India can be proud of many things, but not its obesity quotient. It is an unfortunate fact that India stands second in the number of its obese children which stands at a whopping 14.4 million. 1 out of every 5 adults in India is overweight. Obesity in India has doubled and even trebled in the last 10 years. by 2025, India will have 17 million obese children to boast of.
The rapid proliferation of weight-loss regimes, dietary routines, exercise methods and bariatric surgery clinics is proof of the rising increase of obesity in India. Obesity has become the foremost of the public health problems in India.
With World Obesity Day having just concluded on October 11, it is time to introspect on obesity and its medical treatment in India.
Food and Nutrition Management to combat obesity in India
A research study conducted across various states in India showed 3 predominant dietary patterns traditionally.
- Cereal-savoury comprising of grains, pulses and spices
- Fruits-vegetables-sweets-snacks comprising of fruits and vegetables with sweets
- Animal-food comprising of dairy and meat products
Of these, the cereal-savoury diet had the least leanings towards obesity.
It was also found that modern India was shifting its traditional dietary pattern to the Western diet comprising of higher intake of meat, high fat-dairy, refined grains and fast foods. This has led to the prevalence of obesity and an increase in diabetic and cardiovascular diseases in India.
A "prudent diet" with high intake of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish and low-fat dairy is recommended by the food and nutrition management experts to combat obesity in India.
Obesity dietary guidelines
Obesity is the harbinger of chronic health issues like diabetes and heart ailments. Curbing weight-gain is effective only by following these obesity dietary guidelines strictly.
An ideal obesity-control food chart would be like this
Obesity as a current global health issue
Of all the current global health issues, obesity leads with 108 million children and 600 million adults with a BMI count of over 30 globally. As per the WHO standards, a BMI of over 25 is considered to be obese or overweight.
India's obesity quotient is escalating and it is time to spread awareness about the obesity dietary guidelines and the scope of medical treatment in India for weight gain issues. This can be done only by "leading by example" to follow a "prudent dietary pattern" to curb obesity. Let us all join hands to oust obesity from India in a healthy way.