By Dr Ajit Sood, Professor and Head Gastroenterology Department, DMC&H, Ludhiana
Obesity is one of the most blatantly visible, yet the most neglected public health problem worldwide. It is a growing challenge in India too with morbid obesity affecting 5% of the country's population. In Punjab, 40.3 percent women and 35 percent men in the middle age group of obese.
It is not just affecting the urban well-to-do but is an issue amongst villagers too. Childhood obesity has also emerged as a significant problem of modern India. This is due to wrong eating habits and availability of junk food with significant increase in fast food outlets.People are eating more high-calorie,high-fat foods and highly processed foods. Another factor contributing is lack of physical activity. Technology boom has resulted in less active lifestyles.Moreover, kids are far more
sedentary than previously because of pressure of studies and whatever little spare time they have is spent on video games, mobile phones or Facebook.
Apart from this genetic factors and gut bugs are also said to play a role.
Obesity increases the risk of developing several chronic diseases such as type II diabetes, insulin resistance, coronary heart disease (responsible for heart attacks), cerebrovascular disease (responsible for strokes), high blood pressure, gout, gallstones, colon cancer, sleep apnea, and a form of liver disease called fatty liver disease wherein there is excess fat deposition in the liver.Worldwide this fatty liver disease is emerging as the most frequent liver disease in recent years. Fatty liver becomes harmful when it progresses to liver inflammation (steatohepatitis) which can lead to liver scarring (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and end-stage liver disease. Avoiding obesity is one of the best way to prevent fatty liver and its associated complications.
Eat healthy, Stay healthy.