Prevalence of lifestyle diseases in India: Obesity
14 Sep' 15

Prevalence of lifestyle diseases in India: Obesity

India, in our own eyes is yet a poor, hungry, malnourished country. However, statistics suggest that India is a world capital for obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Obesity and overweight are the most potential epidemic lifestyle diseases prevailing in adults worldwide.  Obesity also prevails in school-going children aged from 5 to 19 years old. Obesity and is directly linked to cardiovascular diseases, insulin resistance and Type 1 Diabetes. Worldwide surveys on obesity and overweight conducted from 1980 to 2013 reveal that the obesity population in adults has increased from 28.8% to 36.9% in men, from 29.8% to 38% in women1.

Obesity is directly related to Body Mass Index (BMI). Increase in BMI and abdominal obesity are the major risk factors to obesity and overweight. There is no major difference between urban and rural population, as they both have access to transport facilities, television viewing, easy access to city and educational facility. Obesity and overweight is caused mainly due to physical inactivity and food habits. A cross-sectional survey in five cities in India revealed that the prevalence of obesity was 7.8% in men, 6.2% in women and overweight was 35% in men and 32% in women. This was mainly due to sedentary behavior and mild activity2. Another study focused on determining obesity patterns in school going children in Mumbai demonstrated a positive correlation between dietary pattern and body fat percentage, suggesting that children who skipped breakfast or ate outside once in a week were overweight compared to other children. Also, a high intake of sugar and consumption of fat-based local bakery products contributed to their body fat percentage. It was also observed that children who had more sports and physical activity had higher metabolism compared to children who preferred viewing television or spent more time with computer3.  

Therefore, it is very necessary to regulate the dietary patterns in order to control obesity and overweight.  


1. Marie Ng, Fleming T, Robinson M, Thomson B, Graetz N, Margono C, Mullany EC, Biryukov S, Abbafati C, Ferede Abera S, Abraham JP, Abu-Rmeileh N, Achoki T, AlBuhairan FS, Alemu ZA, Alfonso R,  Ali MK, Ali R, Guzman NA, Ammar W, Anwari P, Banerjee A, DPhilp, Barquera, S, (2014), ‘Global, regional, and national prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adults during 1980–2013: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013’, The Lancet, 384(9945): 766

2. Unnikrishnan AG, Kalra S, and Garg MK, (2012), ‘Preventing obesity in India: Weighing the options’, Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 16(1): 4

3. Madan J, Gosavi N, Vora P, Kalra P, (2014), ‘Body fat percentage and its correlation with dietary pattern, physical activity and life-style factors in school going children of Mumbai, India’, Journal of Obesity and Metabolic Research, 1(1):14


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