To control the growing menace of non-communicable diseases (NCD) like diabetes and hypertension, the Maharashtra government has decided to fight obesity – a major factor of NCD. The state’s medical education ministry, along with the Jayshree Todkar (JT) Foundation, will begin the ‘Fight Obesity’ campaign from November 29.
“Obesity is a disease. Sadly, people associate obesity solely with cosmetic reasons. It leads to more than hundred diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Our aim is to sensitise both, health professionals as well as common people,” said Dr Jayshree Todkar, Bariatric Surgeon and Founder of JT foundation.
In 2014, the American Medical Association (AMA) had classified obesity a disease.
Todkar explained that obesity comes in various stages and the aim of the campaign is to raise awareness on treating it at the earliest.
“Only 10 per cent of obesity patients require surgery. Many obese patients ignore their condition and come to us when it’s too late. The aim of the campaign is to make them aware of treating obesity at the earliest. If detected early then through lifestyle changes, obesity can be treated,” she added.
In the month-long campaign, the state plans to conduct various programmes at 18 medical colleges.
The Indian Dietetics Association and the All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity (AIAARO), too, are a part of the campaign.
“Obesity is a silent killer. People are unaware of the fact that every year, 60 per cent of deaths are due to NCD and obesity has a major role to play. It is important for people to know that obesity is a disease and it has a scientific treatment,” said Todkar.
WHO fact sheet says…
Worldwide 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. Most of the world’s population live in 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.