Doctors say, ‘obesity’ is mother of all diseases. The rising threat of obesity, globally, has left the caregivers in a tizzy. Obesity is a disease. Poor lifestyle and unhealthy food habits lead to obesity, which is the main culprit behind several diseases, including cancer.
The World Health Organization (WHO) fact sheet says, worldwide the epidemic of obesity has more than doubled since 1980. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Of these over 600 million were obese. 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2014, and 13% were obese.
Worldwide at least 2.8 million people die each year as a result of being overweight or obese, and an estimated 35.8 million (2.3%) of global DALYs are caused by overweight or obesity.
Most of the world’s population lives in the countries where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight. 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese in 2013
Obesity is preventable
The rising number of obese people worldwide sounded like an alarm bell in the doctor’s community. In order to discuss about this fast growing threat, the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders has decided to hold a conference in India, which is being organised by Obesity and Metabolic Surgery Society of India.
The conference, which is set to take place in Goa, between 21st to 23th April, this month, is supported by the association of surgeons of India, and All Indian Association for Advancing Research in Obesity, Indian Diabetic Association, and Yoga experts will also be taking a part in the conference said, Jayasshree S. Todkar, Organising Secretary of OSSICON 2017.
This is the first-of-its-kind international initiative on ‘Diabesity’. Obesity and Diabetes are interlinked and obesity is the root cause or condition behind several other ailments such as cardiac problems, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and arthritis. This forum will give the health-care professionals related to obesity and metabolic disease from across the globe, a platform to debate on diabesity.
“Obesity and Diabetes are two sides of the same coin. We call them as twin diseases. Both are interlinked to each other, obesity and diabetes, follow each other and due to their association, organs in human body deteriorate very fast, which leads to organ failure. This combination is mostly seen in the Indo-Asian region, and that is why our theme is ‘Diabesity’ where we will discuss this global threat” said Dr Jayashree Todkar
“Obesity is a silent killer. People are unaware of the fact that every year, 60 per cent of deaths are due to non-communicable disease (NCD) and obesity has a major role to play in it. It is important for people to know that obesity is a disease and it has a scientific treatment,” said Todkar.
Doctors say there are monogenic and polygenic obesities and many genes like leptin deficiency, leptin receptors have been implicated in obesity. There are some syndromes too like Bardet–Biedl syndrome that is linked to obesity.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), obesity in India has risen one-and-a-half times in last quarter-century. Heart diseases and diabetes together result in 28 per cent of all deaths.
Doctors say while around 65 per cent of obesity cases are due to a bad lifestyle, the remaining percentage is because of genetic patterns or hormonal status. “The reason behind obesity is not just excessive eating. Our society needs to be sensitised about the disease. Obesity has always been looked down upon in our society,” said Dr Sanjay Borude, Bariatric Surgeon, Breach Candy Hospital. He said, in developed countries calling a person obese is considered to be a bad word.
Considering the alarming reality of obesity in India, the union government was mulling to impose a fat tax on junk food and sugary beverages in the union budget. Though the government didn’t impose any tax, caregivers say, imposing tax on junk food is good move, but we need to spread awareness about how unhealthy these food and drinks are and how health risk rises.
To control the growing menace of non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes and hypertension, the Maharashtra government had decided to fight obesity – a major factor of NCD. The state’s medical education ministry, along with the JT Foundation, had carried out a month long campaign, to create awareness about obesity.
Not only that, the Maharashtra government had conducted BMI (Body Mass Index) test of all its MLA’s and MLC’s and other staff. It is estimated that around 30 million people in India suffer from obesity.
In 2014, American Medical Association (AMA) classified obesity as a disease and the World Health Organisation (WHO) defines obesity as an abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. Obesity is defined by body mass index – a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by square of his or her height (in metres).
It is important for every healthcare professional, dealing with obesity patients, to be on the same page. At the conference, we will have international and national experts treating obesity. We all will learn A to Z about obesity treatment, how to classify the disease as per the stages, how to provide treatment as per protocol in all stages of obesity. Emphasis will be on early detection, rightly diagnosing the stage of obesity disease and then treating it,” said Todkar.