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Weight Gain – An Explosive Health Issue
I developed some training material on obesity recently, for a nutraceutical product for weight loss.
While in process I thought it is worth sharing on Pharma Veterans as the implications of it are very serious and dreaded ones. Therefore, as Public Services Message it should be disseminated as widely as possible for the awareness and benefit of general public.
Weight gain is a growing menace in modern times.
The common reasons of weight gain are:
- The sedentary lifestyle.
- Dependence on transport for even small distances.
- Long hours on computers.
- Getting glued to T.V.
- Over eating – in Pakistan perhaps this is most convenient social activity.
- Increasing trend and penchant for junk food.
- lack of time and interest for physical activity
It is bewildering to note that putting on extra weight is not taken seriously by majority.
I have tried to simplify the narrative and avoided un-necessary details, to make it easily understandable by number of readers.
Of course, I have taken great care that the scientific content is not affected.
Food is an integral part of life. Not only food is essential for survival, but also the way we structure our life, our work habits and our recreational activities. All this revolves around how, when and where we get food to eat. However, since most of us live in a faster-paced lifestyle, we get less time for choosing, preparing and eating proper food.
We grab our breakfast on the run, hurry through lunch and rarely get time to plan and prepare well-balanced dinner. This results in our dependence on pre-packed microwave food or fast food. In the process we tend to put on extra pound leading to over-weight or obesity, due to this imbalanced diet.
This material has been taken from different literature and text books. The sources have been mentioned at the end.
What is Obesity?
Obesity is being overweight, and this problem is increasing by the day globally and Pakistan is no exception. Dramatic rise of obesity in Pakistan has been seen in recent years. It is also referred to as an illness in which a large amount of fat gets accumulated in one’s body and hence it is very hazardous to health. Health officers are also calling it the Obesity Epidemic because it is affecting people from all ages and income groups. It is not specific to a particular gender or a particular group of people. It is widespread and prevailing all across the globe.
Obesity in Pakistan
Like other countries, obesity in Pakistan is also rising at an alarming rate. Most of the global deaths are caused by obesity so rising obesity in Pakistan is a matter of great concern these days. As per a research, WHO states that approximately 26 % of women in Pakistan suffer from the problem of obesity while only 19 % of the men are obese. But the current 2013 statistics have revealed that in 2013, the rates were 28 per cent for men and 38 per cent for women, which is a very significant gap between the two genders. Obesity is higher in urban areas (56% in men and 67% in women) as compared to rural areas.
Even childhood obesity is also growing at a fast pace. As per 2013 statistics it was 10 % which is a huge figure. According to Express Tribune, Pakistan has been ranked 9th out of 188 countries with regard to obesity. This clearly shows how big a problem it is now. Because of this problem, approximately 3.4 million people died in 2010. This is the reason why we need to focus more towards being fit more than ever.
Problems caused by obesity in Pakistan
Obese people have greater chances of getting affected by diseases like cancer, heart diseases kidney diseases and diabetes. Hence this indicates that effective steps should be taken before the situation becomes even worse. According to a research it has been stated that if obesity continues to rise at the same pace then it would further reduce the life expectancy of the people of Pakistan. In Pakistan one third of the adult population is obese. Pakistan has an obesity rate of 14% in adults which is a very big issue and it should be looked into (On regional basis).The BMI (Body Mass Index) of Pakistan is above 30 for 14% of men and women and on a global level, approximately 37% people are obese including both men and women. These alarming statistics state that, if corrective actions are not taken soon then it would have harmful effects on the country and the economy as a whole. The whole nation would have to suffer because of this problem.
Another problem in Pakistan is that the people are taking this issue very lightly. Approximately 73% of obese people have not even recognized this as a problem and they think that it is normal. Ironically lots of people think it as a symbol of health and are not aware of the hazards and risks to their health which can be caused by their excessive weight; therefore, they rarely try to lose weight.
For Pakistan to progress, it is important that awareness is created among the population regarding the harmful effects of weight gain, not only for themselves but also for the sake of whole social fabric and economy. Moreover, a greater level of obesity has been observed in the elderly people as compared to the young people. Most people think that it is age related phenomenon. Health problems also increase with age and obesity compounds and make the situation worst.
To be continued……