Fight obesity to fight ailments, say doctors


(Nov 26 is Anti-Obesity Day)

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New Delhi : From heart disease to high blood pressure, urological complications to those related to pregnancy, obesity attracts a whole lot of ailments, doctors said Friday as India observed the Anti-Obesity Day.

As of 2008, more than 20 million people in India suffered from obesity.

Said Hrishikesh Pai, a gynaecologist: “Studies point to the fact that women who suffer from obesity run the risk of infertility and also have a higher risk of pregnancy-related complications.”

“Numerous studies even state that obesity can lead to ovulation problem which results in irregular menstruation cycle,” she said.

“I suggest that women who suffer from obesity should look into it before considering pregnancy to avoid higher risk of miscarriage and other pregnancy complications,” she added.

According to experts, obesity is an alarming problem in India. It is often attributed to genes, environmental factors such as how often a person eats, personal level of activity and choice of one’s lifestyle.

Obesity can be life threatening, they added, whereby every extra 10 kg reduces life expectancy by three years.

Anshuman Agarwal, urologist at the Fortis hospital, said: “There is a weight limitation for lithotripsy (non-invasive treatment) for stones as there can be difficulty in patient positioning and focusing of the stone. Also the endoscopic equipment required needs to be modified according to the patient’s body.”

Putting forth suggestions to keep obesity at bay, Atul Peters, director of Advanced Laparoscopic and Bariatric Surgery at the Primus Super Specialty hospital, said those with a hectic lifestyle should steer clear of too much of junk food and have three-four healthy meals a day instead of two large ones.

Putting in an extra word of caution for those who resort to crash dieting, he said: “Crash dieting usually results in loss of body water and mass, and not fat. There is also a rebound of weight gain driven by the hormone ghrelin, or the hunger hormone.”

World over, more than 300 million people suffer from obesity.