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What is Obesity?

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health.

You are obese if your body mass index (BMI) is over 30 kg/m2. You are overweight if your BMI is 25-30 kg/m2.

Divide  your weight in kg by the square of your height in meters. Body shapes  may be different. Body builders’ BMI may not fit into the classification  above. But for more others, it holds true. Some scientists have  recommended lowering the cut off point to 23 kg/m2. This will greatly increase the number of obese adults. But it will provide us better health.

Obesity Classification

BMI                    Classification

<18.5                   Under Weight

18.6 – 24.9          Normal Weight

25.0 – 29.9         Over Weight

30.0 – 34.9         Class 1 Obesity

35.0 – 39.9         Class 2 Obesity

>40.0                  Class 3 Obesity 

Obesity is an Epidemic

Recent studies have reported that globally, more than 1.9 billion adults are overweight and 650 million are obese. Approximately 2.8 million deaths  are reported as a result of being overweight or obese.

In India, more than 135 million individuals were affected by obesity. According to ICMR-INDIAB study 2015, prevalence rate of obesity and central obesity varies from 11.8% to 31.3% and 16.9%-36.3% respectively.

In India, abdominal obesity is one of the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVDs).

Increases in obesity are mostly in urban settings, but rural India is  catching up quickly. Once considered a problem only of high-income  countries, obesity rates are rising worldwide.

In 1997, the World Health Organization formally recognized obesity as a Global epidemic.  Since then, hundreds of Bariatrics specialists and clinics have opened  across the world. Bariatrics is the branch of medicine that deals with  the causes, prevention, and treatment of obesity.

Obesity in India

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in India in the 21st century, with morbid obesity affecting 5% of the country’s population.

Obesity was  most prevalent in urban populations (male = 5.5%, female = 12.6%). Rural  areas are being increasingly affected. With people moving into urban centers and wealth increasing, concerns about an obesity epidemic in  India are growing. 

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Be Blessed by the Divine!

Dr Achyuthan Eswar