Apart from the debilitating effect obesity can have on the quality of life of the individual, the condition can also give rise to other chronic, often fatal, conditions. Thus, it is vital that we understand how to tackle obesity through a healthy diet and make positive changes in our lifestyle.
The link between Obesity and COVID-19
While the condition of obesity can lead to an array of ailments in one’s body, a recent study has shown that overweight or severe obesity can make you more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19. Obesity can raise your risk to catch the many symptoms of COVID-19 besides other chronic health conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and others.
People with obesity have lower oxygenation capacity, which directly can lead to other complications since COVID-19 affects the lungs and causes a decline in oxygen saturation. However, it has been noted that while obese people are at a higher risk of facing the Symptoms of Covid in the second wave, there is no increased risk of death.
Amid the challenges of COVID in India, here are some tips that one could follow to keep your physical health under control:
Cutting down refined sugar
Limiting or cutting down the intake of added sugar can be beneficial as they are linked to an increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and others.
Following a balanced diet
Not just people with obesity, it is vital for everybody to follow a balanced diet, rich with a variety of nutritionally dense food, to fight Corona symptoms.
Drinking plenty of water
It is just not about hydrating, but studies have shown that drinking water can help you burn more calories and promote weight loss.
Sipping on green tea
There are many benefits of green tea. It especially does wonders in promoting weight loss. Make it a routine to drink a cup of hot green tea every day.
Chart an exercise plan
Every weight loss diet is incomplete without exercise. Start by adding a routine of some sort of physical exercise in your day. Regular exercise or yoga can help avoid fat accumulation and boost overall health.
The bottom line is to incorporate the changes in your life and follow them regularly. Not just your physical health, a healthy body can bring you more mental peace.
Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, you can speak to leading dietitians in the country about obesity-related issues while minimizing the risk of exposure. Through MFine’s online doctor consultations, consulting dietitians has never been easier. Through instant chat and video calls receive advice, tips and tricks on how to tackle obesity and other weight-associated symptoms with ease.
Chapter 1: What is Obesity?
Obesity is a disease in which an individual has an excessive amount of body fat. It is not just a cosmetic problem but a medical one too. It increases your susceptibility to other health issues such as various cancers, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. It is a chronic health condition and can be diagnosed using a person’s body mass index (BMI).
BMI is measured with height and weight. BMI= kg/m2, where kg is the person’s weight in kilogram and m2 is the height in meter squared. What is considered a healthy BMI range can vary among different ethnicities.
The international cut-off for a healthy BMI is 25, but for Indians, the cut-off is around 23. This is because South Asian populations are susceptible to diseases like diabetes at lower BMI values. Similarly, while the cut-off for morbid obesity is 40 in Western countries, experts have recommended lowering this to 35.5 for Indians.
Thus in India, the following BMI ranges are followed:
Below 23 Normal
25-35 Clinically obese
Above 35.5 Morbidly obese
An obesity diet chart that caters to the Indian diet will be optimal in helping reduce weight.
Causes for obesity and its reasons
In India, the rise in disposable income of the middle and upper classes coupled with the entry of fast food and luxuries of modern life has coincided with the rise in obesity among Indians. The connection between food and obesity is clear; consistent intake of high-calorie nutrient-low foods can lead to obesity. Understanding the causes of obesity can help take preventive measures and adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you are a parent, it’s also important to understand the causes of child obesity to identify the signs early on.
Here are the major causes of obesity in India:
ecess-eat1. Excess eating:
Eating in excess, or overeating results in weight gain – more so if the food is rich in fat and carbohydrates, such as Indian fried food, sweets, and fast food. These are the major causes of obesity in children. A proper diet chart is essential for children who show early signs and symptoms for obesity. Indian low fat food is easy to prepare as many traditional Indian recipes are based on whole grains and healthy fat. If your child appears to be rapidly gaining weight, then you should consult with a doctor on the treatment of childhood obesity.
Research into the genetic link between obesity in parents and obesity in their children has thrown up a number of surprising results. While there does appear to be a higher chance of a child being overweight if their parents are, this might have less to do with shared genetics and more to do with the environment the children are raised in. Obese parents might be following a fatty diet and a sedentary lifestyle, leading to their children adopting the same habits. Even if the child has a genetic predisposition to weight gain, they can avoid becoming obese by following an active lifestyle and eating a healthy diet. On the whole, genetics appears to be one of the minor causes of child obesity.
balna3. Nutritionally-deficient diet
This is one of the 3 main causes of obesity in India and the rest of the world. If an individual’s diet is high in calories but low in essential nutrients and they live a sedentary lifestyle, then the body is consuming more calories than it burns. This can lead to fat accumulation in the body. There have also been a number of studies that point to the connection between consuming a diet high in
simple carbs and sugars and the occurrence of obesity. When we consume simple carbs (carbs with a low glycemic index), our body is able to break down the sugar molecules much faster and triggers a surge in insulin. Chronically high insulin in the body can cause insulin resistance, impair the pancreas’ ability to regulate its insulin production. which leads to fat buildup and diseases like diabetes.
med3. Prescription medication
Certain medications are associated with weight gain, such as anticonvulsants (for controlling seizures), antidepressants (for treating depression), diabetes medication (for lowering insulin/blood sugar), antihistamines, oral contraceptives, most corticosteroids, and some hypertension medicines. However,
it must be noted that such medication should not be discontinued without proper medical consultation.
mind4. Psychological reasons
One of the most common reasons for putting on weight is ‘emotional eating’ out of anger, stress, sadness, or plain boredom. Many people who have weight issues and seek treatment often complain of their struggle with binge-eating. For these individuals, consuming food can trigger happy emotions and therefore, eating becomes a coping mechanism. This is another way in which food and obesity are interlinked.
Certain diseases contribute to obesity, such as Cushing’s Syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, insulin resistance, Prader-Willi syndrome, or hypothyroidism.
social6. Social problems
In Western countries, obesity is closely linked to family income as most healthy foods tend to be very expensive, while junk food is much cheaper. In India, it’s the exact opposite scenario. With globalization making fast food more accessible, middle to upper income groups are more prone to obesity than rural and lower
income groups. The other social issue one can face in India is the lack of safe walking places or access to gyms and workout areas – all this can enhance the risk of obesity in India.
imbalanace7. Hormonal imbalances
Pregnancy and menopause are two events that cause a woman to gain weight. At times, even oral contraceptives can result in weight gain. These should be discussed with your doctor, who may recommend certain health checkups and lab tests to diagnose the problem.
Although obesity can occur in very young children, the risk increases as you age due to hormonal changes and a relatively less active lifestyle – one of the 3 main causes of obesity in adults in India. Muscle mass also reduces with age, and this makes it challenging to keep off the extra pounds.
Weight gain is one of the early signs of pregnancy, however, losing that weight postpartum becomes quite tricky. At times, the excess weight gained throughout pregnancy results in obesity in women in India.
no-smoking10. Giving up smoking
Giving up smoking can sometimes result in excessive weight gain. This frequently happens when people turn to food to combat smoking withdrawal symptoms. Quitting smoking is an extremely positive life decision, but make sure you don’t replace it with other unhealthy habits.
sleep-disturb11. Disturbed sleep
Lack of sleep is amongst the causes of obesity in adults in India. Sleep can affect the weight of an individual in a number of ways. Lack of a regular sleep cycle can disturb the balance of hormones
produced and lead to an increase in appetite. There is also research on the link between sleep and obesity which shows that accumulation of fat around the neck can lead to sleep apnea.
There are multiple causes of obesity in India. Most often, it is a combination of factors ranging from an individual’s metabolism and their eating
habits to socioeconomic factors and medication. With the gamut of health issues that obesity can lead to, it is crucial that an obese individual follows a strict plan for weight loss through lifestyle changes and a diet chart for obesity. Furthermore, there are medical procedures such as gastric sleeve surgery and gastric bypass surgery for treating obesity in Indians.
Symptoms of Obesity
One of the most obvious signs and symptoms of obesity is, of course, excess weight and large waist circumference. There are also a number of other signs and symptoms of obesity in children and adults, which can be used in conjunction with an individual’s BMI to identify obesity.
Shortness of breath
Joint pain and backaches
Unable to cope with physical activity
Feeling lethargic every day
These obesity symptoms in children and adults stem from the effect of excess weight on the body. If the condition is left ignored, it will lead to several other conditions like osteoarthritis, gout, gallbladder disease, depression, dementia, kidney disease,
and asthma. Other serious health issues which stem from obesity include cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. Being obese is also linked to premature death. Hence, the treatment of morbid obesity and the treatment of childhood obesity is crucial.
Effects of obesity
As we saw earlier, obesity can lead to a number of other health concerns, ranging from mild to severe. The extra weight can affect almost all parts of the body, including vital organs.
1. Stroke and heart disease: Obesity puts a person at a higher risk for high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke in Indians.
2. Various kinds of cancer:Obesity places women at a higher risk for breast cancer, and cancers of the ovary, cervix, and uterus: s. Excess weight also increases the susceptibility of contracting cancer of the colon, liver, oesophagus, rectum, pancreas, prostate, gallbladder, and kidney amongst both men and women in India. It’s essential to get regular breast cancer screenings to catch any signs early on.
3. Type 2 diabetes: Obesity can impact how insulin is released by our body to keep the blood sugar levels under control. The risk of insulin resistance can result in type 2 diabetes – and this is the side-effect of obesity. Patients who have type-2 diabetes have to follow a diet chart for obesity for Indians to normalise insulin levels.
4. Osteoarthritis: Carrying excess weight places undue stress on weight-bearing joints, such as the knees, resulting in inflammation in these regions. This can lead to osteoarthritis. It is among the most common effects of obesity on the body.
5. Digestive issues: Heartburn, liver issues, and gallbladder disease are the side effects of obesity on health.
6. Sleep apnea: Overweight people are more likely to have a serious disorder called ‘sleep apnea’, where breathing stops during sleep. This is because the excess fat around the neck and lungs can put pressure on the airways and lowers lung capacity, which causes issues with breathing. This is one of the dangerous effects of obesity on the body.
7. Sexual and gynaecological issues: Wondering how obesity affects fertility? Being extremely overweight can result in an irregular menstruation cycle due to an imbalance in hormones. Overweight men can experience erectile dysfunction. This is one of the ways how obesity affects fertility.
irregular period pcos self check mfine
8. Reduced quality of life: Obese people find it difficult to do tasks that they could earlier enjoy. This causes them to avoid social events and thus, impacts their quality of life.
9. Psychological concerns: Obesity can result in depression that emanates from social isolation and a burdening feeling of guilt and shame.
The effects of obesity on health are quite serious. The markers mentioned above should be monitored and professional advice should be sought. If a child is obese, then the treatment of childhood obesity should become a priority as it can lead to lifelong health complications if left unchecked. One can start by
making changes in the diet by following a customised Indian diet chart to counter the side effects of obesity on the body.
– Obesity is a serious medical condition which is characterized by an abnormally high BMI.
– It can result in a number of health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and osteoarthritis
– Some of the symptoms of obesity in children and adults include shortness of breath, fatigue and joint pain