All you need to know about OBESITY

Sakal Times
Thursday, 11 April 2019

As a nation, India is grappling with the growing concern of Obesity. The younger population of the country, especially children have been facing issues with a rapid increase in weight owing to unhealthy lifestyle and stress.

As a nation, India is grappling with the growing concern of Obesity. The younger population of the country, especially children have been facing issues with a rapid increase in weight owing to unhealthy lifestyle and stress. But as they say, prevention is better than cure, we would all agree that awareness too, is better than cure. Sony BBC Earth’s ongoing show, The Truth about Obesity looks at the groundbreaking new treatments to fight obesity and delves deep into some of the facts about this chronic disease. 

We bring you five of the most important facts we all need to know to fight obesity -

1. The difference between overweight and obese: 
The lines are not blurred. In order to do this, we need to know about the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is a measure of body fat, calculated on the basis of weight and height. According to the BMI chart, the score between nineteen to twenty-five means that you arehealthy, between twenty-five to thirty indicates that you are overweight and the score over thirty is considered obese. Enough to give you a quick wakeup call?

2. The dangerous visceral fat
Body fat stored within the abdominal cavity, the visceral fat is known to be harmful and it’s not determined by the BMI. You may be healthy, but your body may have excess amounts of visceral fat, that is bad fat. Visceral fat is believed to reduce a person’s life expectancy by up to ten years. The quick solution to this is to eat less and exercise more! This technique is known to make the visceral fat disappear rapidly from the body.

3. Thumb rules for a long and healthy Life!: 
Commitment to these Thumb Rules will surely make you healthy, wealthy and wise! Firstly, keep the tempting food out of your sight and maintain good self-control. Secondly, find a substitute for your 'cheat food”'. For example, instead of a cake, go for a protein bar, which is healthier but equally delicious.

4. The lesser-known gene MC4R:  
Melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R), is a gene that works in the brain and controls our appetite. If you have a tendency to be hungry all the time, then this gene is at fault. People with a faulty MC4R gene tend to consume higher levels of fat than others. This gene may either contribute to a higher tendency to gain weight or may even protect you from gaining weight. So, the next time you are craving for all the delicious fast food, you know who is at fault and how to control it.

5. The ‘Gut’ Microbes
The gastrointestinal system or the ‘gut’ consists of a trillion microbes which play a strong part in determining our body weight. Interestingly, the type of food we eat also determines how healthy our gut microbes are, which eventually keeps us healthy. And here’s how you can keep it healthy! The best way to feed your gut bacteria is with natural foods that are rich in fibre. Fruits and vegetables like bananas, berries, beans, garlic and onions prove to be making your gut microbes thinner and healthier. Not to forget our lifesavers, the wholegrain cereals and oats, nuts and seeds. World over, a lot of theories are being put to test in order to work towards a healthy, obesity-free world. 

ST READER SERVICE 
Tune-in to Sony BBC Earth’s The Truth About Obesity on Monday 8 pm onwards

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