Obesity – the silent killer on raise in Bengaluru

Obesity – the silent killer on raise in Bengaluru

Obesity known as the silent killer is on raise in namma Bengaluru.  What we need for a healthy life is just 30 per cent of what we eat, and another 70 per cent of what we eat only invites obesity and other diseases.

Obesity and mental health are interlinked. 

What some people may not realize is that obesity can also take a toll on mental and emotional health, making daily activities like socializing, dating and even traveling more challenging.

Taking steps to lose weight by making lifestyle adjustments could help ease the mental and physical burden associated with the condition.

What is obesity?

Junk food cause of Obesity

Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to an extent that it may have a negative effect on health.  People are generally considered obese when their body mass index (BMI), a measurement obtained by dividing a person’s weight by the square of the person’s height, is over 30 kg/m2 ; the range 25–30 kg/m2 is defined as overweight.

Obesity is most commonly caused by a combination of excessive food intake,  lack of physical activity, and genetic susceptibility.  A few cases are caused primarily by genes, endocrine disorders, medications or mental disorder.

Effects of obesity :

Obesity effects on human body

Obesity is a complex disorder involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Excessive body weight is also is associated with various diseases and conditions, particularly cardiovascular diseases, diabetes mellitus type 2, obstructive sleep apnea, certain types of cancer, osteoarthritis and asthma. As a result, obesity has been found to reduce life expectancy.

Public health :

The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that overweight and obesity may soon replace more traditional public health concerns such as under-nutrition and infectious diseases as the most significant cause of poor health.  Obesity is a public health and policy problem because of its prevalence, costs, and health effects.

Public health efforts seek to understand and correct the environmental factors responsible for the increasing prevalence of obesity in the population. Solutions look at changing the factors that cause excess food energy consumption and inhibit physical activity.

Management of Weight gain :

The main treatment for obesity consists of dieting and physical exercise.  Diet programs may produce weight loss over the short term,  but maintaining this weight loss is frequently difficult and often requires making exercise and a lower food energy diet a permanent part of a person’s lifestyle.

In the short-term low carbohydrate diets appear better than low fat diets for weight loss.  In the long term; however, all types of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets appear equally beneficial.  

Causes of Weight Gain and Obesity :

Obesity is one of the biggest health problems in the world.  It’s associated with several related conditions, collectively known as metabolic syndrome.

The factors that are leading causes of weight gain, obesity and metabolic disease are :

  1. Genetics – Some people appear to be genetically susceptible to weight gain and obesity.
  2. Engineered junk foods – Stores are filled with processed foods that are hard to resist. These products also promote overeating.
  3. Food Addiction – Some people experience strong food cravings or addiction. This especially applies to sugar-sweetened, high-fat junk foods which stimulate the reward centers in the brain.
  4. Aggressive marketing – Food producers spend a lot of money marketing junk food, sometimes specifically targeting children, who don’t have the knowledge and experience to realize they are being misled.
  5. Insulin – High insulin levels and insulin resistance are linked to the development of obesity. To lower insulin levels, reduce intake of refined carbs and eat more fiber.
  6. Certain medications – Some medications may promote weight gain by reducing the number of calories burned or increasing appetite.
  7. Leptin resistance – Leptin, an appetite-reducing hormone, doesn’t work in many obese individuals.
  8. Food availability – In some areas, finding fresh, whole foods may be difficult or expensive, leaving people no choice but to buy unhealthy junk foods.
  9. Sugar – Scientists believe that excessive sugar intake may be one of the main causes of obesity.
  10. Misinformation -. Misinformation may contribute to weight gain in some people. It can also make weight loss more difficult.

What foods should an obese person avoid?

What to Eat –

Food Pyramid to avoid obesity

Choose minimally processed, whole foods:

  • Whole grains (whole wheat, steel cut oats, brown rice, quinoa)
  • Vegetables (a colorful variety-not potatoes)
  • Whole fruits (not fruit juices)
  • Nuts, seeds, beans, and other healthful sources of protein (fish and poultry)
  • Plant oils (olive and other vegetable oils)

Drink water or other beverages that are naturally calorie-free.

Limit these foods and drinks:

  • Sugar-sweetened beverages (soda, fruit drinks, sports drinks)
  • Fruit juice (no more than a small amount per day)
  • Refined grains(white bread, white rice, white pasta) and sweets
  • Potatoes (baked or fried)
  • Red meat (beef, pork, lamb) and processed meats (salami, ham, bacon, sausage)
  • Other highly processed foods, such as fast food

How does weight affect mental health?

A new study showed that a weight-loss intervention can help overweight and obese people with serious mental illnesses—such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression—lose significant weight and keep it off. Medications to help control mental illness symptoms can increase appetite and encourage weight gain.

Link between obesity and mental health :

The link between mental health and obesity is complex and may vary based on individual like age, gender, race, ethnicity and culture or structural like nationality and region characteristics. Age may influence mental health causes or consequence of obesity and may moderate the mental health-obesity link.

Early adolescence and late adolescence are very different in terms of cognitive and social functioning.  Analysis of a nationally representative sample of adolescents in grades 7-12 who had participated in the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health suggested that only among the youngest adolescents, a significant link could be found between overweight and obesity on depression.

People are living longer than ever before, and paradoxically, that brings more problems.  Family dynamics and stress play an integral role in mental health. Extended families are not as geographically close today as in the past. Adult children are leaving home later, and their greater dependence on their parents contributes to more problems for everybody involved.

What is happening in Bengaluru ?

Obesity is slowly engulfing Bengaluru.  For every 10 Bangaloreans, 4 are obese.  The reasons are rapid urbanization, transformation to metro, lifestyle alteration and poor diet.

Obesity mainly is a result of changes in diet and physical activity. In the city the rise in obesity is due to factors known as the ‘nutrition transition.’ Urban areas, being much further along in the transition than rural areas, experience higher rates of obesity.

The city offer a greater range of food, usually at lower prices, and city work often demands less physical exertion than rural work.

The need of the hour is getting committed to a healthy way of life by eating low calorie diet and doing regular exercises for the rest of one’s life.

Hypertension – 40% hike in youngsters – Bengaluru – World Hypertension day

Hypertension – 40% hike in youngsters – Bengaluru – World Hypertension day

Hypertension or BP is on rise in youngsters at Bengaluru.  There is a 40% hike.  Rising obesity in young people is causing lifestyle diseases.  40% of them suffer from or are suspected to shown symptoms of blood pressure fluctuations. 

May 17 is the World Hypertension Day’.

Highlights :

  • Hypertension of high blood pressure shows no symptoms
  • Foods high in potassium can be beneficial for people with hypertension

World Hypertension Day :

The theme of World Hypertension Day 2019 is “Know your numbers.” The theme is meant to raise awareness about high blood pressure in people across the world. The idea is to make sure to check blood pressure regularly and know  numbers in order to necessary action on time.

Knowing numbers is important because high blood pressure is a condition which does not show any particular symptoms.  Anybody  can have high blood pressure for years and not know about it because it causes no symptoms.

Even without visible symptoms, high blood pressure can cause damage and lead to fatal conditions like heart attack and stroke.

Blood Pressure or Hypertension :

Hypertension is another name for high blood pressure. It can lead to severe complications and increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and death.

Blood pressure is the force exerted by the blood against the walls of the blood vessels.  Un-managed hypertension can lead to a heart attack, stroke, and other problems.

Warning signs of hypertension :

High Blood Pressure (HBP) or hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” because there are no symptoms. Many people do not find out that they have high blood pressure until they have problems with their heart, kidney, or brain.

Causes of hypertension :

The exact causes of high blood pressure are not known, but several things may play a role, including:

  • Smoking.
  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Lack of physical activity.
  • Too much salt in the diet.
  • Too much alcohol consumption (more than 1 to 2 drinks per day)
  • Stress.
  • Older age.
  • Genetics.

The most common causes of hypertension include smoking, obesity or being overweight, diabetes, having a sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity, high salt or alcohol intake levels, insufficient consumption of calcium, potassium or magnesium, a deficiency in vitamin D, stress, aging, chronic kidney disease and adrenal and thyroid conditions or tumors. Some individuals may also be genetically predisposed to hypertension.

Segments of Hypertension :

Hypertension can be divided into 2 segments.  They are essential hypertension and secondary hypertension. 

Essential segment is not connected to any other condition whereas secondary segment occurs because of other health problems related to the adrenaline gland, thyroid or kidney.

Symptoms of Hypertension :

Headaches, fatigue, confusion, dizziness, nausea, vision problems, chest pains, breathing problems, irregular heartbeat and blood in the urine are all symptoms of hypertension.

However, many cases of high blood pressure are asymptomatic, which is why periodic blood pressure screenings are recommended.

Points to remember :

  • Avoiding high-salt and fatty food
  • Practicing mediation to avoid stress
  • Drinking around 4 litres of water everyday
  • Including fruits and vegetables in diet
  • Exercising five times a week.  45 minutes to 1 hour of brisk walking is ideal

Prevention is better than cure :

Healthy Diet. Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help one avoid high blood pressure and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Eating foods low in salt (sodium) and high in potassium can lower blood pressure.

Present scenario in Bengaluru :

According to Dr. Chandril Gunashekar, ‘a significant number of 20 year olds are now suffering from hypertension.  The number of cases has increased by 40% in the last 10 years.  Cases of people suffering from diabetes and hypertension is also rising which is scary”.

More and more people are aware of Blood pressure because of increased diagnosis due to health screenings and annual checkups at workplace.

Many youngsters have hypertension due to secondary causes.  High consumption of salt is being one of the reasons as youngsters prefer to eat processed food which is high in salt.

Alternative Medication :

According to Dr.B.T.Chidananda Murthy who is the Chief Medical Officer at Jindal Nature-care that naturopathy is the best solution for the problem.

Under naturopathy the diet includes consumption of lemon water, tender coconut water, ash guard juice and other fruit juices. 

Solid food and uncooked food are avoided.  Eating fruits, salads, vegetables and sprouts are encouraged.  This results in low consumption of salt and fat which in turn helps in weight reduction and high blood pressure.

Consumption of water and other forms of liquid helps in flushing out excess salt naturally.  Starting the day with 4 glasses of water and a minimum consumption of 3 liters of water through the day helps in controlling hypertension.

Avoiding foods rich in starch, high protein and high fat food helps in controlling blood pressure.  The diet must contain mainly seasonal fruits, vegetables and multigrain sprouts.