Delightful juicy pieces of fried chicken or double burgers might be a pleasure to the taste buds but regular intake of such food may cause obesity. Obesity has hit India hard and almost 5 per cent of the Indian population is obese, according to a survey conducted by National family health survey.

Obesity, in simple terms means, an excess amount of body fat. It is usually determined by the Body Mass Index or BMI. A person is considered to be obese, if he/she has a BMI of 30 or above.

childhood obesity

This condition mostly affects people between the age group of 24-39. Young people living in big metros or fast growing cities are mostly victims of sedentary lifestyle. They would rather spend time on their gaming portals  and computers instead of going out and having a good game of football. While India is one of the biggest beneficiaries of globalization, passive lifestyle and obesity is growing almost hand in hand.

Diet is also a problem area. High calorie diets, processed and junk food make it even more difficult. Intake of alcohol and aerated colas has also gone up. Obesity can cause high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. It could even lead to a stroke.

Exercise and diet are the best ways to tackle obesity. However, if these options fail, one can opt for bariatric surgery or weight loss surgery. Surgeries like Laparoscopic Gastric Banding and Laparoscopic Sleeve Gastrectomy are proving to be very effective these days. With the Gastric lap band surgery one can expect to lose about 50 per cent of excess weight in the first one year of the surgery. And with laparoscopic Sleeve surgery one can shed about 60 per cent excess weight in 6-12 months time.

Earlier, there used to be this misconception that weight loss might have an adverse effect on the patient’s health. People who have undergone this surgery had to go back to treat surgical defects. Many were said to have regained weight after couple of years of the surgery. With advancement of research these surgeries have minimal risk and the success rate has gone up steeply. Controlled medication and postoperative supervision has minimized side effects. However, the patient has to follow a strict diet and exercise routine throughout his/her life post this surgery.

Obesity is one of the biggest health challenges that the world is facing today. Studies show that obese people have reduced longevity of life. Hence, it is time that we take charge and prevent this condition from taking shape of an epidemic.

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