Friday July 19, 2019

Children at Risk: Obesity is not limited to the Urban Rich of India

The average increase in BMI is 3.5 percent in which men accounts for just 2 percent increase in BMI while women for 4.3 percent

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Yogita, Harsh and Anisha are the three obese siblings with the staggering weight of 34 kgs (5.3st), 15 kgs (2.5st)and 48 Kgs (7.5st)respectively at their residence in Gujarat, India. Photography by: Tanzeel Ur Rehman/ Cover Asia Press
  • Obesity attracts cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Barker Hypothesis states that if an individual who are undernourished at time of foetal period suffers the problem in adult stage after becoming obese
  • Women between 25- 34 years of age are more prone to obesity as compared to all other ages

Obesity, commonly known as ‘Overweight’ has become a matter of concern in rural India. What’s worse? It has affected the children in particular that is not limited to the urban rich. Obesity is thought to be a disease by many but actually it is a symptom of several diseases and attracts numerous ailments like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Recent studies show that, rural India faced 8.6 fold increments in terms of obesity as compared to just 1.7 fold increment in urban India. To rate people healthy or unhealthy, BMI index is calculated. BMI index is the ratio of an individual’s height to his weight, mentions the Scroll.in report.

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An obese child in India. Image Source: Barcroft

A research by National Institute of Epidemiology in Tamil Nadu showed that young women are more prone to obesity than men. The average increase in BMI is 3.5 percent in which men accounts for just a 2 percent increase in BMI while women for 4.3 percent. Women between 25 to 34 years of age are more prone to obesity as compared to all other ages.

An obese girl in rural India. Image Source: Barcroft india

According to Scroll.in, a research in a village of Andhra Pradesh shows that 40 percent of its population is suffering from obesity while the number of underweight remains one third of the number of obese. The percentage of obese people is higher than that of prevalent in Punjab.

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Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com
Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com

One of the reasons of being obese is known as ‘thrifty phenotype’ or Barker hypothesis. It states that if an individual is undernourished at the time of foetal period, suffers the problem in adult stage after becoming obese. The other reasons that can be linked to obesity are frequent consumption of- alcohol, smoking, tobacco, sweets, food items including lots of fats, increment in the number of fast food shops, etc.

Obesity foundation of India. Image Source: obesityfoundationindia.com

To curb the problem of obesity, Government of India had come up with several campaigns to reduce weight and to aware people of its causes. One of the organization working towards it is, ‘Obesity foundation of India’ and is non profit in nature. It tries to curb influence of obesity by encouraging people to stop smoking.

Coke had recently launched ‘Live like Grandpa’ campaign. In March, it also came out with two other campaigns- ‘coming together’ which draws attention towards its low calorie drinks and ‘be Okay’, that makes people aware of the amount of calories contained in a can of Coca Cola.

-This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Obesity does not only affect the person physically but mentally too. The person loses his/her activeness resulting in slow thinking process

  • Aparna Gupta

    Obesity is a problem affecting whole India therefore, it need to be curbed.

  • Desiretech Kolkata

    best plastic surgeon for obesity treatment
    plasticsurgeonkolkata dot come

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UN: Global Hunger Levels Stabilizing, While Obesity Rates are Skyrocketing

For the first time, the U.N. agencies were able to gather data on world obesity rates, which are hitting record levels

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hunger, obesity
A man waits to receive food aid outside a camp for displaced survivors of cyclone Idai in Dombe, Mozambique, April 4, 2019. VOA

The United Nations says more than 820 million people around the world are hungry, while at same time, obesity is hitting record levels.

A report released Monday by five U.N. agencies dealing with food, nutrition and health says that while hunger levels have mostly stabilized, more people around the world are anxious about where their family’s next meal will come from.

“People that feel insecure  insecure because they are in areas under conflict, insecure because they are in countries with high levels of inflation, insecure because they are very low paid that they will not have money to buy their food — this number reached 2 billion people around the world,” José Graziano da Silva, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said at the report’s launch. “This is really a big, big number. We were surprised when we found this figure.”

obesity, hunger
FILE – Jose Graziano da Silva, director-general of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). VOA

The report notes the highest hunger rates are in Africa and growing steadily in almost all parts of the subcontinent, where climate and conflict, economic slowdowns and downturns have driven more than 256 million people into a state of food insecurity.

In Asia, more than 500 million people, primarily in the southern part of the continent, are suffering from malnutrition. This sort of hunger has lasting impacts on its victims, especially children, who suffer from stunting and wasting.

“So the question is what are we going to do about it?” asked World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley. “Because if these were your little girls and your little boys, I guarantee you, you’d be doing everything you could to do something about it.”

Beasley said the problem of world hunger is solvable, but is not achievable without ending war and conflicts, which consume a huge portion of the global economy that could be used for development.

obesity, hunger
David Beasley, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) executive director, speaks during a press conference in Seoul, May 15, 2018, after his visit to North Korea. VOA

Obesity a global epidemic

For the first time, the U.N. agencies were able to gather data on world obesity rates, which are skyrocketing. “We have about 830 million obese people in the world,” said the FAO’s Graziano da Silva. “That’s happening in most continents except Africa and Asia.”

He said trends indicate that the numbers of overweight and obese people in Africa and Asia would soon exceed those who are hungry.  Graziano da Silva said obesity rates are rising by 6.3% and 7.5% per year respectively in Africa and Asia, while the global average is 4.8%.

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“It’s really a global epidemic issue the way obesity is rising and how fast it is rising,” Graziano da Silva added. The cost of obesity is very high, some $2 trillion a year in related illnesses and other side effects.

Graziano da Silva urged better labeling of foods, reducing the levels of salt, fats and sugars in processed foods and restricting advertising for some products geared toward children. He noted healthy and fresh foods also need to be promoted and access to them needs to be increased for some populations. (VOA)