Accumulation of excessive body fat is known as obesity. It is a sign of someone who does not take care of his health or has bad eating habits. Once started it is very hard to control. Sometimes obesity is due to genetic problems or inherited. It has also spread around the world mostly due to consumption of fast food. Experts predict that Pakistan’s obesity rate will keep rising, which will put even greater strain on our health system. Obesity is measured and defined in terms of body mass index (BMI). A body mass index of more than 30kg/m2 indicates obesity. It is further classified as severe, morbid and super obesity in the order as the BMI increases.

People are becoming obese due to consuming too many calories, leading a sedentary lifestyle and not having enough sleep. Individuals of all ages, gender and ethnicity are affected by this disease. Still, a general trend has been observed that women are affected more than men. The tendency to gain weight also increases with age. Generally obese people feel fatigue, tiredness, over-sweating, lethargy etc. These are the main complaints of a patient. Most patients do not pay attention to these changes in their body. They visit the physician only after the serious manifestation of the disease. It has been seen that such medical complications resolve on their own, when the patient starts losing weight.

Obesity can be managed by eating healthy food and increasing physical activity. There is no need to alter the quantity of the food but the quality of the food must be checked and improved. Avoiding red meat, oily food, extra fats in form of ghee, butter etc, can dramatically help reduce weight. And if the right eating is accompanied with the physical work out, it becomes the perfect way to lose weight and stay healthy. Earlier, obesity was seen as a disease of high-income countries only, but now the trend has changed. There is an acute need to bring public awareness about the morbid effects of obesity. Outdoor sports and activities should be encouraged by both the school authorities and parents to tackle rising cases of childhood obesity. And healthy eating habits and an active life style should be adopted by the individuals of all age groups and gender, to prevent obesity.

M OSAMA AFNAN HANAFI,

Karachi, April 19.