Obesity: A Rising Malaise

Across the globe, there has been an alarming increase in obesity .Obesity has become a menace and a threat. This is not a new phenomenon. It has been around since the sixties. Modern life has gifted us this disease. But, can an obese person put the blame on the global phenomenon? Are we all not responsible for our individual health?

Each of us should be taking ownership of our own health. In an age where we have information at the click of a button, there is simply no excuse for tolerating obesitywhich in most cases is a lifestyle disease. Exception is the hypothalamic obesity, which is a complicated medical condition, for which there is no known cure, and all attempts at lifestyle modification are futile in treating the disease. Such patients suffer damage to an area at the base of the brain called the hypothalamus. This area, the size of a fingernail, whose primary function is to release hormones which control the function of the pituitary gland immediately below it, also controls energy balance. Damage to this area has long been known to promote excessive eating (hyperphagia) and weight gain, termed “hypothalamic obesity.” This form of weight gain is not responsive to diet and exercise. Victims of this form of obesity continue to gain weight despite their best efforts, and suffer greatly from this unrelenting scourge.

For the rest of us, let us see how best we can do away with this disease. There is no denying the fact that this is in the best interest of all. The ill effects of Obesity are just too many for us to ignore the treatment. Let’s start with parents. Parents should ensure that their children adhere to a well-balanced healthy diet that will provide nutrition and result in a healthy growth of bones. Children with sensible parents are at an advantage. However, there are cases where the parents are themselves obese and in need of treatment. The best course of action in this case would be to bring about lifestyle modifications. A sedentary lifestyle should be avoided at all costs. Conscious effort should be made to intake healthy diet, which includes sufficient vegetables, fruits, lean meat, eggs, and pulses, depending on the food habits of the individual.

This may seem an uphill task to someone who has been obese for many years, and is set in his habits. However a little discipline and conscious control over diet and exercise, will go a long way in ensuring the return to a healthy and a fit person. If the obese person just reduces intake of fast food (for those who consume a lot of fast food), he/she will notice a remarkable change in a couple of weeks. They will start feeling energetic, active and alert. All that is required is they should have the will power to overcome the psychological barriers and the motivation to change the situation. Once the effects are seen, the person starts to look and feel good, and this further leads to motivation. Sometimes, it could be just a beginners` luck, and if a person hangs on to changes in lifestyle, until the results start to show, that’s all they need and  it is smooth sailing after that.

Normally an obese person already has the motivation, unless they have fallen in the trap of associating food with happiness. Such patients who associate food with happiness usually suffer from low self –esteem, and are extremely emotional and shy, unable to take initiative in bringing about lifestyle changes and need at least one solid support in the family or from their peer group to push them through in achieving the goal of reducing weight. These are the very people, who if given the right kind of support will have 360 degree transformation, and once achieved are more likely to stick to the diet and exercise regime, having tasted the benefits of healthy lifestyle.

Women especially have a built in motivation to look and feel good, hence it is easier for them to make the shift in their mindset.Not only that, they are determined, and also most of them join some sort of support group, where they share their fears. For men, it is a totally different story. He has to be pushed to the limits either by his wife, or mother, or he has turned towards the treatment of obesity in sheer despair probably due to the impending fear of disease like heart disease or diabetes. However, not to generalise, if one realises that one is obese, it is not the end of the world. There are ways to fight obesity, all it needs is determination and strong will. It is worth fighting obesity, as otherwise with advancement in age it could lead to severe diseases like diabetes Type 2, kidney failure, cardiovascular disease, arthritis and many more.

The best way to overcome obesity, is to have proper balancedmeals, lead an active life, join some sport which necessitates running, or do at least 45 minutes of cycling , jogging or simple walking. We owe it to our body to take care of it.Health is precious.Value it.



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