• Recent studies reports, more than 1.9 billion adults (18 years older or more) are overweight. Over 650 million people are considered to be obese.
• Obesity causes more death than that of over weight
• Reports in 2018 say, 40 million children under the age of 5 were obese. Over 340 million children between the age of 5-19 falls in obese category.
• Obesity is a preventable disease
Obesity is a major health problem which increases the risk of many other medical conditions. It is a major risk for diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and certain other problems.
Obesity or over weight is a condition where there abnormal or excessive weight gain that may affect the health of an individual. BMI (Body mass index) is used to determine where a person is obese or not. In adults BMI equal to or greater than 30 is considered to be in obese category.
Obesity can be a result of combination of various factors like environment, dietary habits, and lifestyle habits. A modest weight loss can help to prevent the associated diseases with obesity.
The main and foremost reason for obesity is eating more calories than body’s capacity to burn then in daily activities or work out. Over time, these extra calories pile up and results in weight gain.
Common reasons include –
• Poor diet intake which is high in fats and calories
• Sedentary lifestyle habits
• Lack of good sleep, which may result in hormonal variations in the body, which make the body to crave for heavy calorie diet
• Genetic reasons – The genetic makeup also plays an important role which can affect the body’s metabolism pattern.
• Ageing – As the age progresses the metabolism becomes slow, and easily gains weight
• Pregnancy – Pregnancy results in certain weight gain. It may be difficult to lose weight after pregnancy, which may eventually lead to obesity.
• Intake of certain medications over a long period of time results in weight gain.
• Obesity can be a symptom in many diseases like PCOD, Cushing syndrome, Hypothyroidism, Osteoarthritis etc.
• Over weight with BMI equal or above 30
• Increased sweating
• Unable to perform any physical activity
• Pain in joints especially the weight bearing joints
• Lack of confidence and self-esteem
Obesity leads to risk of various medical conditions. Heavy weight can risk the health of joints and internal organs. Obesity increases chances of inflammation of the body.
Other major diseases include –
• Type 2 diabetes
• Coronary heart disease
• High cholesterol
• Fatty liver
• Gall bladder stones
• Cancers in breast, colon and endometrium
• Sleep apnoea
• Vitamin Deficiency
In Ayurveda is described as Atisthaulya in which the symptoms are excessive accumulation of Meda (the adipose tissue) and Mamsa (flesh or the muscle tissue). These leads to symptoms of overweight, fatigue, flabs in abdomen, hips and breast. In Ayurveda it is considered to be a santarpana janya vikara (diseases that are caused due to excess intake of calories.
Ayurveda has explained in detailed about the management of sthoulya. The line of treatment involves Langana (fasting), Ama Pachana (medication that can help to process the undigested food), Ruksha udwarthana ( dry powder massage), and Physical exercises. Panchakarma therapies like vamana, virechana and lekhana vasti also helps to better the condition.
• Intake low-fat and low-calorie food items should be practised.
• More consumption of proteins will help to stay longer even without food
• Use steamed or boiled vegetables than fried or processed food
• Increase the number of frequent meals to reduce food cravings
• Include health veggies – Bitter gourd, Drumstick, Bottle gourd, Snake gourd, Pumpkins, Cabbage, Leafy vegetables like spinach, amaranthus etc.
• Include oatmeal, barely, wehat, moong dal in the diet
• Fruits like oranges, lemon, Indian goose berry, Pomegranate is helpful
• Uses spices like garlic, ginger, pepper, asafoetida etc.
• Consumption of warm water regularly
• Paripoorna navasana
• Utthita parsvakonasana
• Chaturanga dandasana
• Urdhvamukha svanasana
• Surya namaskara