Friday, April 19, 2024
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Growing waistlines in India: Am I getting fat?


fatBy Abhilasha

So I wake up in the morning exasperated and out of breadth after witnessing probably one of the craziest nightmares ever! I’m fat! So FAT! Like a round ball of clothes with my head struggling to stick out. I have a really tough time walking from one room to another; I can barely move my limbs…all I can do is sit absolutely motionless in one spot. Scary enough I guess?

I went a little bit too overboard exaggerating what life can be for someone suffering from obesity but the idea I’m trying to get across is that this disease is proliferating into the Indian society and other developing nations such as China and Mexico, as well and is not just limited to the western world. Our “Oh, so busy!” schedules, transformed lifestyle and erratic eating habits leave us with absolutely no time for a 30 minute exercise routine and have turned us into a complacent, hopeless and lazy lot.

India alone is credited with approximately 1.46 billion people now considered overweight or obese, with a national rate of those deemed overweight or obese of about 11 percent. Similar rates of obesity are seen among younger adults in China, particularly those between the ages of 20 and 39, with the country overall seeing obesity rates at about double what they were just over 30 years ago.

The implications of obesity are manifold and spread out on a multiple level. They place a major burden on a country’s economy by demanding further expenditure on healthcare facilities and medicines to cure such ailments. Thus, if not for the people, then at least to serve its very own purpose, the government must intervene and take necessary steps to minimise the problem of obesity and the consequences thereof. It’s ironical how the government simply shuns this responsibility by bringing it under the ambit of ‘Personal freedom’ and ‘Right to choice’ of food and necessarily intervenes in more ‘personal’ choices such as religion.

What I perceived in my introductory paragraph is rather far-fetched but certainly not impossible. The issue is on the threshold of multiplying further and creating an infinite number of complications and there is a need for the Government to make a start by doing something very basic like spreading awareness, if not anything else, because as of now most people are completely ignorant about the existence of obesity within the Indian society and how it can become an enormous problem in the future.


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