Prevalence of obesity among women in India is on the rise, especially in urban areas

The study done by National Center for Biotechnology Information, informed us about the prevalence of overweight and obesity is higher among urban women than those from rural areas in India. More than 23 per cent of women in the urban cities are either overweight or obese compared to only 7 per cent of women in rural areas

Prevalence of obesity among women in India is on the rise, especially in urban areas

Obesity among women is leading to many health issues. As the number of obese women is increasing over a period of time, this issue has become a major concern.

According to National Family Health Survey (NFHS – 4) recent data says 23.4 per cent women were found overweight and obese. Although during 2005-06 the percentage was at 12.6 per cent. The situation in Mumbai is not so good. City doctors have observed 34 per cent of obese and overweight women during 2015-16.

Dr Niranjan Chavan, Professor, Gynaecology Department at LTMG (Sion) Hospital said, “Out of total cases 5 to 10 per cent are women who are overweight and this is increasing. It is very concerning because it could lead to many health issues. Such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), menstrual irregularities, Oligomenorrhea which is a condition of infrequent menstrual periods, infertility, low self-esteem, lack of confidence, psychological and mood changes etc.”

He advised “It is very important to have a healthy way of living. Have a nutritious-low fat diet, avoid junk food like pizzas, burgers, fried items, Chinese food, Coke, Pepsi and other aerated drinks, artificial juice pulp and extracts. Have the habit of doing daily physical exercise”.

India has more than 30 million obese people, and the number is increasing alarmingly. The problem is more acute among women than men. In urban India, more than 23 per cent of women are either overweight or obese, which is higher than the prevalence among men which is 20 per cent.

The study done by National Center for Biotechnology Information, informed us about the prevalence of overweight and obesity is higher among urban women than those from rural areas in India. More than 23 per cent of women in the urban cities are either overweight or obese compared to only 7 per cent of women in rural areas.

The study also says that more than one-sixth of women in urban area are overweight, and around 6 per cent of women are obese. The problem is more acute among the economically stable strata of people compared to the poor in urban India.

Obesity has become a global epidemic now. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there will be about 2.3 billion overweight people aged 15 years and above and over 600 million obese people worldwide in 2015.

Obesity is the fifth leading cause of deaths, resulting in around 2.8 million deaths of adults globally every year.

Dr Abhay Agarwal, Bariatric and Metabolic Surgeon at Sevenhills Hospital who sees 30 to 40 female obesity cases per month said, “Obesity is a multifactorial disease and is caused due to a combination of one or more factors like hereditary factors, wrong eating habits, lack of exercise, slow metabolism, endocrine issues, environmental issues and certain mental disorders”.

Agarwal also suggests that obesity is preventable, “Obesity can be prevented with the help of a balanced diet by avoiding excess of junk food and alcohol. By maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle with a regular exercise regime and medical check-ups”.