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Obesity is a vexing problem in developed countries. India, still considered a developing country, thought obesity to be a distant issue, probably because we had larger challenges of poverty, malnutrition and hunger to address. Yet, statistics suggest otherwise. According to a study, India is just behind US and China in this global health hazard list of top 10 countries with highest number of obese people. The intake of junk food, alcohol and sedentary lifestyle – all are believed to be factors leading to obesity.

So what do we know about obesity?

Overweight or obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in the body. Obesity occurs when caloric intake is more than its consumption, through exercise and normal daily activities. Our body stores the excess calories as fat. Genetics also plays a role in obesity. Genes can cause certain disorders which result in obesity. However, not all individuals who are predisposed to obesity become obese. Research is currently underway to determine which genes contribute most to obesity.

Obesity today has emerged as a major public health problem in South Asian countries. The prevalence of obesity is greater in urban areas than in rural, and women are more affected than men. Indians have long faced the problem of under-nutrition, but now India is witnessing rise in number of obese people.

Many Indians rely on processed foods, that contain a large percentage of trans-fat, sugars, and other unhealthy and artificial ingredients. Obesity though poses multiple health problems including diabetes, heart diseases, high blood pressure, cancers, sleep apnoea and respiratory problems and yet we remain oblivion to its life threatening implications.

This section aims to educate you on Obesity and its impact on our health & well being

Obesity and Overweight

Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation in body.

The most common obesity-related complications that come in mind are diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. However, there is also a strong association between obesity and infertility. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a common cause of anovulation, represents an important link between obesity and infertility. Although PCOS embodies a wide spectrum of disease with unclear pathophysiology, it is commonly defined as oligo- or anovulation, hyperandrogenism, and polycystic ovaries by ultrasound. Notably, at least half of women with PCOS are obese and thus require special attention, as they represent potential bariatric surgery patients.