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One in three Indians overweight: Study

Written by Editorial Team |Updated : November 2, 2012 9:18 AM IST

Obesity-indiaIndia is a facing a unique healthcare crisis. While on one hand millions are starving to death because of lack of adequate nutrition, on the other people in urban India are constantly tipping the scales to breaking point.

A recent survey reveals that one out of three Indians are overweight and believe it or not the bigger chunk of overweight people comes from Tier-II cities like Kochi and Ludhiana and not the metros. The 11-city survey showed that 36% were above their ideal weight, while 23% were on the verge of turning overweight. Mumbai turned out to be most health conscious city in the country with only 27% people overweight, whereas Kochi had 46% respondents who were overweight.

'The survey brings out for the first time that our non-metro cities, too, are affected by obesity. Given the eating-out culture that is becoming popular across the country, this is not surprising,' said surgeon Raman Goel.

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Endocrinologist Dr Shashank Joshi, the president of the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India, lays the blame on India's transition economy. 'There is better awareness and, hence, better diagnosis of both obesity and diabetes.' Yet, he believed India was still too malnourished a country to have many morbidly obese people.

On the bright side, the report found that obesity levels among the 15-19 to group had only 13% people overweight. The survey covered 22,824 people. The survey also reveals that Indians are set to get more obese with the number of people who are obese could increase by 50% in the next decade and the morbidly obese number could triple in that period.

Indians not concerned

The biggest problem in India is people's attitude. Indians are genetically different from Caucasians or African-Americans. An earlier study in 2010 had revealed that Indians are most prone to cardiovascular diseases in the world because of environmental factors and genetic makeup. The survey also revealed that many Indians didn't pursue any weight loss plans, happy with their girth.

Some starling facts about:

  • 63% in North India and 38% in West India didn't think they needed to lose weight
  • Only 25% of the respondents had even tried dieting
  • 88% believe that obesity is caused due to overeating and don't think exercise plays.
  • 80% obese are likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, heart ailments or acidity

Obesity table:

City

Obese %

Delhi

32

Ludhiana

41

Kolkata

41

Jaipur

30

Mumbai

27

Ahmedabad

42

Nagpur

33

Chennai

38

Hyderabad

30

Bangalore

43

Kochi

46

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