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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Next generation may live shorter than their parents due to obesity, says expert

According to the 2016 statistics published by the World Health Organisation, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and above, were overweight. Of them, over 650 million were obese.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: August 13, 2021 10:11:38 am
Pune news, Pune city news, Obesity, Obesity causes, Obesity india, Obesity effects, indian express newsObesity has been emerging as a global epidemic. (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

At a recent media workshop organised by HEAL foundation, Director of Bariatric Surgery at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai, Dr Ramen Goel, said obesity and associated issues are likely to result in a situation when for the first time in the history of mankind, the next generation might live shorter than their parents.

Talking about its seriousness, he said, “Of course, obesity is a complex health issue, emerging as a global epidemic and the second most common preventable cause of death posing multiple challenges but feasible solutions are also there. Behind obesity, there are a combination of causes and individual factors such as behaviour and genetics. Behaviours can include physical activity, inactivity, dietary patterns, medication use and other exposures.”

Obesity has been emerging as a global epidemic. According to the 2016 statistics published by the World Health Organisation, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and above, were overweight. Of them, over 650 million were obese.


The prevalence of overweight and obesity in India is also increasing faster than the world average. “Also, obesity is not a single disease but it brings along 225 other diseases, which are directly or indirectly associated with it,” said Goel.

Diabetes, hypertension (BP), heart diseases, breathing problems, gallbladder disease, some cancers, arthritis, stroke, cholesterol are among the related diseases due to obesity.

However, to curb the increasing incidence of obesity and associated diseases, there are certain treatment options with their limitations. The natural treatment options are calorie restriction diet and exercise. And if these measures fail, there is an option for weight loss surgery. However, in a calorie restriction diet, there is a probability of re-gaining over 50% of lost weight after a year or two. Moreover, regular exercise helps to some extent in controlling obesity. Among surgical options, bariatric surgery is the most prevalent, Goel said.

Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for severe obesity that results in the improvement or remission of many obesity-related comorbid conditions, as well as sustained weight loss and improvement in quality of life. The sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass surgery are the two important methods involved in bariatric surgery. With mortality comparable to common elective general surgical operations, bariatric surgery is now safe.

“It has been observed that post bariatric surgery, cardio-vascular risk has been reduced by 30%, significant reduction in breast and endometrial cancers is seen, reversal of NAFLD (Fatty liver), NASH and even Fibrosis in 65%. Hormonal normalisation and improved fertility in PCOD in almost 100% women and discontinuation of CPAP is more than 93%. Also, all Central Government Health Schemes such as all insurance companies, large corporates and financing companies accept it. Although lifelong healthy eating and exercises remains the mainstay of obesity treatment, yet these have limited long term outcomes,” he said.

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