From the Viewsroom

From the Viewsroom: Double trouble

Jinoy Jose P | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on April 05, 2016

bl06_think_weigh mch.jpg

India is overwhelmed both by obesity and malnutrition

One in five adults will be obese by year 2025, says a new study. We have seen umpteen reports, warnings and case studies articulating similar concerns. However, the latest research published by the Lancet medical journal is alarmingly candid.

The study says there is zero chance we can meet the target set by the UN for pausing soaring obesity rate by 2025. In the US itself, where two-thirds of adults are officially obese, the medical costs of obesity are as high as $210 billion a year. And this accounts for over 20 per cent of all annual healthcare expenses in the country.

India is also pacing up. Recently, another study which measured malnutrition trends globally found that India has the third-highest number of obese and overweight people — 11 per cent of adolescents and 20 per cent of all adults — after US and China. And the healthcare impact of this problem runs into several lakhs of crore. India had 0.4 million obese men — that is 1.3 per cent of the global obese population — in 1975. Come 2014, this bulged to 9.8 million — 3.7 per cent of the global population.

We don’t see a response that equals the gravity of the issue. Obesity is the most underrated healthcare calamity in the country. It’s time this changed. The Government should enhance its policy apparatus to deal with the problem. This is important given that childhood obesity is also growing alarmingly with the country reporting around a 22 per cent prevalence rate over the past 5 years in children and adolescents aged between 5 and19 years, according to a report by a commission set up by the WHO.

It is doubly tragic that India features in the big league when it comes to the number of underweight people. The country’s 102 million underweight men and 101 million women account for over 40 per cent of the global pie of underweight people. This coexistence of underweight and obese people shows there is a mismatch in the way food is distributed.

Jinoy Jose P Senior Assistant Editor

Follow us on Telegram, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Linkedin. You can also download our Android App or IOS App.

Published on April 05, 2016
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor