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Jan 14

Is obesity a Genetic Curse?

It is pretty difficult to digest the fact that in a country like India, where excess is usually frowned upon and an estimated 30 percent of the population live below the poverty line; Indians are battling the bulge and opening the lid on a Pandora’s box of health issues.
People who work the most in the entire day (talking about physical activities) eat the least and those who eat the most food perform the least activity! This can be considered to be perfectly normal when you think about how economics plays a role in obesity; the coolie who doesn’t have access to quality food as a result of poverty must compromise on nutrition, whereas the sedentary white collar worker who sits around most of the day has access to a variety of fare.
The Obesity Epidemic – is it a myth?
One of the biggest myths related to obesity is that it is a genetic issue and irrespective of what efforts an individual does to curb this disease, it remains a life-long problem.
Another myth associated with this epidemic is that an individual is born with the genes that somehow make you obese and that you are completely helpless when it comes to reversing it.
While its true that some people tend to gain weight easily, but at the same time it is also true that they don’t have to go through life being overweight. Obesity can certainly be prevented and also reversed.
Rather than being born with affliction, Obesity creeps you quietly!
As rightly pointed by Dr Anjana Joint Managing Director & Consultant Diabetologist at Dr.Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre and Obesity& weight management centre, Chennai “Clearly, we are over-estimating our nutritional needs and consuming far more calories than required.” Even 50 extra calories a day (which is a very conservative estimate, considering how people tend to consume far more) can add up to around 18,000 calories a year, resulting in an annual weight gain of around 2 kilos. “Over a ten year period, that can make you over twenty kilos overweight,” If you examine family photos from ten years ago, you’ll find that you can hardly recognize your own family members!” Since this weight gain happens gradually over a period of a decade, seldom do people notice it. “For this reason, obesity can be a very stealthy disease.”

What can be done?
A sensible diet is definitely a cornerstone for obesity treatment, below mentioned are few practical and immediate steps that can be taken
Extra Vigilance during Childhood
If obesity runs in your family, then you need to be extra vigilant with your child. This doesn’t mean that you have to expose them to a restrictive diet, but you will need to increase their intake of fresh vegetables and fruits and avoid junk food items.
Being careful at this stage is very important as later it gets extremely difficult to get rid the body of fat cells. When you lose weight, your fat cells get shrink, but their number remains the same.
If your child is overweight take small steps to weed out calories from their diet and increase their physical activities. This is primarily important because overweight children can grow into obese adults.

Bariatric Surgery
With the advancement in medical technology, options are available that help you in shedding those extra kilos through surgery.
This is a simple and safe method performed by experienced surgeons for people who are morbidly obese. It involves two methods – one is restrictive procedures that decrease the size of the stomach to one cup and another is malabsorptive procedures that decrease the absorption of calories in the small intestines.

While it’s natural to feel hungry, but it all depends upon your food intake that can help you double your weight in a year or two. Therefore, learn to train your appetite and add a daily dose of exercise to enjoy a healthy life.

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