Kochi seems to be going obese. If the results of an 11-city survey on obesity related trends are any indication, the city appears to be on the precipice.

The results of AC Nielsen survey commissioned by Johnson & Johnson were announced here by R. Padmakumar and O.V. Sudheer.

The other cities surveyed are Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Delhi, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmadabad and Nagpur.

Padmakumar, who is the Medical Director of Sunrise Group of Hosptials said that Kochi has the highest incidence of obesity among the 11 cities surveyed. The survey had revealed that 46 per cent of Kochites are above their ideal body weight, out of which 7 per cent of the people are morbidly obese.

Padmakumar said the most important and dangerous aspect highlighted by the survey was that 80 per cent of those above their ideal body weight suffer from at least one co-morbidity (lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, high BP, increased cholesterol, sleep disorders, infertility, cancers and joint pain).

The survey also found that in Kochi, 17 per cent of obese people have never done anything to tackle their problem of obesity and do not intent to do so in future either.

A lot of awareness and awakening is required in this aspect, as obesity is going to be the largest health problem affecting the society and is controllable very easily if properly managed, he added.

Sudheer, Consultant Surgeon at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, pointed out that it is important to tackle obesity correctly and aggressively. Obese individuals are now becoming aware about the surgical treatment of obesity and its role in treating associated medical conditions.

Overweight individuals feel that eating oily and fatty food, irregular eating habits and overeating are the top reasons for the increasing incidence of obesity. However, this might not be strictly true.

In addition to environmental factors such as diet, obesity could also be due to genetic factors, metabolism and hormonal factors, he said.

sajeevkumar.v@thehindu.co.in

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(This article was published on January 23, 2013)
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