Dr. Sachin Mittal | Edited by Parmita Uniyal
Everyone has heard about diabetes and obesity. But have you heard about Diabesity? Diabesity is a condition in which the person is suffering from both diabetes and obesity together. We know that both diabetes and obesity are deadly; they increase the chances of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease etc. Now imagine when they both happen together. How drastically they will eat up your body and make your life disease-some. The likelihood of complication gets magnified exponentially and it can drastically impact the quality and quantity of life.
As per Niyantrita Madhumeha Bharat 2017 study, almost 40.3% of people are obese. Nearly 11.8 % people have diabetes as per National Diabetes Survey Report released by Ministry of Health & Family Welfare. Women seem to be affected even more than men. As per Indian Council of Medical Research – India Diabetes study, the numbers are even higher in north India. Chandigarh seems to have amongst the highest number of people with diabetes (13.6%). These numbers do raise an eyebrow to say the least.
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What’s causing this huge increase? The reasons for this are apparent – the huge demographic shift, sedentary lifestyle, rapid urbanisation, and westernised diet. I can remember going to school on my bicycle but nowadays even if kids want we are scared to send them out because of the menace of traffic. Today’s kids are glued to the screens rather than sweating themselves out in a playground. The problem worsens because of prevalent fast food culture that includes carb-rich foods like pizza, burgers, colas and increased use of processed packaged food. Lest we forget we Indians have always been at risk of diabetes because of our genetic predisposition. Can we really afford this sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating choices?
The ‘thin fat Indian’ concept initially highlighted by Professor Chittaranjan Yajnik is worth mentioning here. This concept means that even with normal body weight, we Indians tend to have higher percent of body fat and more metabolically active fat which puts us at a higher risk of diabetes and heart disease.
No wonder the changed westernised lifestyle has acted like “ghee on fire” and the result is higher number of people with Diabesity. This can increase chances of many complications like heart disease, stroke, kidney disease later on.
Do we have a choice? Indeed; that’s what life is all about. Thoughts. Choices. Actions. Think and stay active. Take stairs rather than an elevator. Take a walk in your work space after every 60-90 minutes. Choose health. Eat local, seasonal and nutritious food. Don’t buy any packaged food without reading its ingredients. Act wise. Get your health parameters tested regularly. And finally, please monitor your weight more than you monitor your wallet.
(Dr. Sachin Mittal is an Endocrinologist with a Fellowship from University College of London, U.K.; views expressed in this column are author’s own)