Chennai, Nov 25:
The World Obesity Federation recognizes obesity as a “chronic, relapsing, progressive disease process, [that is] also one of the major risk factors for diabetes.” By 2030, nearly one-fifth of total diabetic cases globally will belong to India.
Dr. RajkumarPalianappan, Director & Chief Surgeon: Institute of Bariatrics, Apollo Hospitals observes that obesity in Chennai is driven by a combination of environmental, cultural and genetic factors, “The weather is hot round the year, which decreases the inclination for physical activity. Culturally, even non-vegetarians in Chennai eat meat only once or twice a week, which leads to a high-carb, high-fat diet.” Moreover, due to genetic predisposition, Indians develop Type 2 diabetes at a younger age and lower BMI levels than other populations.
Despite the risk of developing comorbidities such as diabetes rises, patients can leave obesity untreated. Dr. Rajkumarobserves, “Most patients wait more than 8-10 years to seek out medically sound weight-loss procedures.”
Dr. Neha Shah, Director and Chief Consultant , Chennai Obesity & Gastro Surgeons Centre, “Our society still judges a woman predominantly by her appearance. Obesity can directly impact the ability of young women to wear what they want and to be perceived as attractive. Thus, they are prone to a vicious cycle – they get depressed due to obesity, and to feel better, they eat more sugary and fatty ‘comfort food’. Counseling and gentle encouragement can play a pivotal role here.”
Dr. BaskaranVasudevan, Senior Consultant Surgical gastroenterology, Minimal access & bariatric surgery at MIOT Hospitals, explains, “Most obese patients suffer from chronic knee-pain, hip-pain and back-pain. Obesity places a massive strain on the muscular-skeletal system, but there is limited awareness of this fact. Often, patients seek treatment for obesity only when their movement is severely restricted or painful.” For such patients, surgery can provide a solution by enabling movement. “By reducing their weight to a more healthy level, patients are able to walk without pain. This in turn helps them stay at a healthy weight.”