Expert shares lifestyle changes to fight obesity 

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( Sudarshan S, Medall Healthcare ) 

Nivedita Rai 

Obesity is a chronic condition and if not treated in timely manner, it can prove to be a silent killer. It is one of the biggest health crises in the world. It is root cause of type 2 diabetes mellitus, high cholestrol, stroke, heart problems, high blood pressure, certain type of cancers, fatty liver and joint related issues. 

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 93.3 million adults (39.8%) and 13.7 million children and teens (18.5%) in the United States are obese. 

It is important to monitor the weight and calculate the body mass index (BMI). BMI is the range of 18.5 to 23.5 kg/M2 can be termed as the normal weight category. BMI between 23.5 to 27.5 kg/M2 falls under the overweight category, between 27.5 to 32.5 kg/M2 is grade 1 obesity, 32.5 to 37.5 kg/ M2 is grade 2 obesity and above 37.5 kg/M2 is grade 3 obesity. 

Prevention is always better than cure and hence, it is important to adhere to a healthy lifestyle and cut down those excess kilos before progressing to the obese category. In an interview with Sudharsan S, Consultant family physician, Medall Healthcare said, “Obesity is a preventable and reversable, if you adhere to a proper lifestyle and consume a healthy diet. Of course, there are the latest medical and surgical treatments available to treat obesity, but if we do a bit of ourselves by altering the lifestyle choices we make, we can overcome obesity naturally.” 

Sudarshan S further noted down some lifestyle changes that should be incorporated in our daily lives in order to reverse obesity and lead a healthy life. They are : 

Exercise – A minimum of 45 minutes in a day should be dedicated to exercise. “Exercise tones up your muscles and it has a positive effect on reducing belly fat. A combination of cardio and weight training exercises is a good go to reduce body weight”, Sudhsrshan said. 

  • 7-8 hours of sleep – The role of sleep in overall well – being cannnot be overstated. This extends to the goal of preventing obesity, too. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends seven or more hours of sleep for adults 18 and over, and even more sleep for younger people. 
  • Avoid stress – Chronic stress raises levels of the stress hormone cortisol and leads to weight gain. Take out some time to pamper yourself, for your hobbies and do some breathing exercises. Meditation also helps a lot to destress. Life is too short and one learns to live it well. 
  • Consume healthy food – If you bring unhealthy foods into the household, your child may be more likely to eat them. Highly processed foods like, white bread and many boxes snack foods, are a common source of empty calories, which tend to add up quickly. Eating a plant based diet has been associated with greater overall health and much lower rates of obesity. To achieve this, full your plate with whole vegetables and fruits at every meal. 
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol consumption – Smoking and consumption of alcohol, both bring severe adverse effects to the body. Alcohol directly affects the liver, while smoking adds on to the already existing complications related to obesity such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. 
  • Stay hydrated – Drink enough water or other low – calorie liquid options like green – tea, lemon water, buttermilk, soups, flavoured water etc. to meet the daily fluid requirement. 
  • Encourage eating slowly and only when hungry – Overeating can happen if you eat when you are not hungry. This excess fuel eventually becomes stored as body fat and can lead to obesity. Encourage your child to eat only when they feel hungry and to chew more slowly for better digestion. 
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