Updated: December 2, 2021 10:14:23 am
NEARLY 650 million people are affected by obesity globally, of which approximately 20% of obese people live in India. The obesity burden in Maharashtra is quite high and nearly 24% of people above the age of 15 in the state are obese, according to experts. “Being a major risk factor for other healthcare issues, the actual burden of obesity is manifold than what the data suggests,” said Dr Jayashree Todkar, consulting general laparoscopic, bariatric and metabolic surgeon.
Obesity has evolved as a major healthcare challenge in India because of the epidemiological shift from an underweight population to an overweight population. A healthcare challenge in itself, obesity is also a major risk factor for many diseases, including diabetes and heart diseases. India is home to approximately 135 million obese people who are at risk of developing multiple health issues.
Explaining the diseases associated with obesity, Dr Todkar said, “Every 10 kg increase in weight from the normal weight band results in 3.0 mmHg Higher Systolic and 2.3mmHg Higher Diastolic BP, which contribute to 12% increase in coronary heart disease risk and 24% increase in stroke risk. Additionally, 30% of diabetic people are overweight.”
“It is estimated that by 2025, obesity-related diseases will cost more than $13 billion in treatment. To control the burden of other non-communicable diseases, it is important that obesity management gets its due attention,” added Dr Todkar while speaking with media persons at a workshop held on Wednesday.
Obesity is divided into two grades — Grade 1 obesity, in which a person’s body mass index is between 26 and 32, and Grade 2 obesity, in which a person’s body mass index is above 32. As per guidelines, people with Grade 1 obesity are not eligible for bariatric surgery. Bariatric surgery is only considered for people with Grade 2 obesity who fit in the qualifying criteria.
Explaining the management of obesity, Dr Todkar said, “Grade 1 and Grade 2 obesity patients are initially managed by lifestyle/behavioral modification and medicines. In lifestyle modifications, people are asked to modify their diet and include exercise in their daily routine. When initial interventions fail, people with Grade 1 obesity are considered for surgical weight loss procedures and people with Grade 2 obesity who are above 18, have a BMI of 32.5 with comorbidities or a BMI of 40, are considered for bariatric surgery.”
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