Obesity: India

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The Times of India, Jul 04 2015

Some facts, Obesity-India: 1980-2013

Sushmi Dey

No. of obese rose from 13% to 29% in 5 years

' Obesity among Indian teens swells

Even as the prevalence of childhood obesity is approaching a plateau in western high-income countries, the trend is rapidly increasing in developing Asian countries like India and China, latest estimates by the World Health Organisation (WHO) showed.The agency said the trend is particularly alarming because the obesity epidemic has the potential to negate many of the health benefits that have been achieved so far. India, which is already is the third most obese country in the world, is showing increasing incidence of overweight children and adolescents in urban areas. Latest es timates show prevalence of obesity among adolescents (1318 years) has grown from 16% to 29% over the last five years.

Several other studies conducted in India also highlight the trend. More than 15 million children are estimated to be overweight in urban India.However, experts say the prevalence is still far lower in rural India.

Globally, the prevalence of obesity in children (under 19 years) has increased by almost 50% between 1980 to 2013, according to WHO Commission, which recently tabled an Interim report on `Ending Childhood Obesity' and called for stakeholder consultation from member countries, including India.

The interim report points out that worldwide 42 million children were affected by obesity in 2013, whereas in Asia, the prevalence rate in 2010 was 4.9% equating to approximately 18 million chil dren. “If current trends continue, over 70 million infants and young children will be overweight or obese by 2025, the vast majority living in lowand middle-income countries. These countries have had high rates of child undernutrition and stunting, but now the rates of childhood adiposity are also rising rapidly,“ the report said.

Obesity is particularly worrying in children be cause it is associated with a wide range of health complications and an increased risk of premature onset of illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease.

“Childhood obesity tracks into adulthood, and is an important risk factor for the development later in life of type 2 diabetes mellitus, metabolic syndrome, subclinical inflammation, polycystic ovarian syndrome, hy pertension, dyslipidemia and coronary artery disease,“ says Dr Anoop Misra, a leading endocrinologist and chairman of Fortis-C-DOC Hospital for diabetes.

According to Misra, the prevalence of obesity among children is, however, expected to be much higher than what has been estimated by global agencies. “There is very limited data available from India and many other developing countries,“ he said, adding the burden is likely to be higher in India as compared to western countries because here the risk of obesity starts at lower weight as against most countries where the body mass index (BMI) is on the higher side.

The interim report by WHO also highlights that many children, who are not currently defined as obese by BMI-for-age, may nonetheless be on the path to obesity.

Child Obesity

India has 2nd highest number of obese children/ 2017

India has 2nd highest number of obese children in world: Study, June 14, 2017: The Times of India

India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to an alarming study which found that 14.4 million kids in the country have excess weight.

Globally , over two billion children and adults suffer from children and adults suffer from health problems related to being obese, and an increasing number die from these conditions, researchers said.

However, of the four mil lion deaths attributed to excess body weight in 2015, nearly 40% occurred among people whose body mass index (BMI) fell below the threshold considered “obese“.

The findings represent “a disturbing global public health crisis,“ according to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Among the 20 most populous countries, the highest level of obesity among kids and young adults was in the US at nearly 13%; Egypt topped the list for adult obesity at about 35%. Lowest rates were in Bangladesh and Vietnam, respectively , at 1%.

China with 15.3 million and India with 14.4 million had the highest numbers of obese children; the US with 79.4 million and China with 57.3 million had the highest numbers of obese adults in 2015.

“People who shrug off weight gain do so at risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, and other life-threatening conditions,“ said Christopher Murray , from the University of Washington. The study , which spans 195 countries and territories from 1980 through 2015, includes analyses of other studies on the effects of excess weight and potential links between high BMI and cancers of the oesophagus, colon and rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, breast, uterus, kidney , and thyroid, as well as leukaemia.

In 2015, excess weight affected 2.2 billion children and adults worldwide, or 30% of all people.

Impact on economy


Dec 5, 2014: India Today

Impact of obesity on GDP, 2008
From: Dec 5, 2014: India Today

See graphic:

Impact of obesity on GDP, 2008

Health issues aside, the economic burden of obesity is roughly 2.8 per cent of global GDP. A Newsflicks study on this XXL-sized danger to the world.

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