Eat healthy to tackle obesity

In a country where 270 million people live below the poverty line, the issue of obesity seems to be an unlikely one.

Ironically though, India is under siege and junk food, alcohol and changing lifestyle are leading us to this silent self-destruction, making one in every five Indian men and women either obese or overweight. Obesity is a problem that affects young and old alike. And itt could stem from either over-eating or from a genetic condition.


So, how does one tackle this weighty problem? First of all, ditch junk food. “Even if you are tired after a long day at work and all you want is to order some restaurant food, try and just avoid doing so. Encourage yourself to cook a healthy meal, such as salad or boiled vegetables or just a sweet potato mash.

Also, do not buy any junk or frozen processed foods that can pile on the pounds,” advises Dr Subhash Aggarwal, Head, Department of Bariatric and Metabolic Surgery, Sri Balaji Action Medical Institute.

Double up exercise regimen as it will keep you motivated and also help you lose the
flab. Weight training is important as it will help burn more calories. “One should also stop snacking. Instead of eating chocolates, bakery items, chips and processed foods, keep fresh fruits and greens such as celery or carrot to beat your mid-morning or evening hunger pangs,” adds Aggarwal.

Keep track of all the progress you have made and how much weight you have lost in the process. Set certain goals such as losing five kgs in two weeks.

One of the major health risks stemming from obesity is fatty liver disease. Fatty liver is a disease commonly referred as FLD in medical terms. It is a reversible condition in which the large vacuoles of fat mainly triglyceride is accumulate in the liver by a process of steatosis, which is an abnormal retention of lipids within a cell.

However, people are not too much aware about the condition, as the common belief is that liver diseases are caused mainly due to over-consumption of alcohol.

“People in India are of primitive ideologies that liver diseases are mainly the problem of the alcoholic population and cannot easily affect the people who are non-drinkers. But with recent studies coming up and also the awareness of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), it has clearly shown that this disease is not linked to just alcohol consumption.

NAFLD in Indian population ranges from five-28 per cent specifically in people having diabetes and obesity,” Dr Tarun Mittal, general surgeon, laproscopic, robotic and bariatic surgeon, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital informed Metrolife.

All patients with NAFLD require lifestyle modification aimed at weight loss and increased physical activity, with appropriate treatment of any associated risk factors, like diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidaemia.

“Patients with steatohepatitis and fibrosis are at highest risk of developing progressive liver disease and require more aggressive lifestyle modification and liver treatment. Bariatric surgery is an option that one can go for. Weight loss after bariatric surgery has beneficial effects on the metabolic rate, improving insulin sensitivity, lipid profile as well as reducing long-term mortality,” said Dr Mittal.

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