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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fat’s in the fire, but few are willing to work it off


38% Obese In Western India Fine The Way They Are, Not Going For Weight Loss

Malathy Iyer TNN 



    The main problem with the obesity timebomb ticking in India is the people's attitude, say experts. There is a lack of awareness about the biochemistry of fat —the peculiar 'Indian fat',for instance,isdifferentfrom thatfoundin Caucasians and very difficultto metabolize— anditsco-relation toseriousdiseases. 
    Anew11-city survey in India shows almost 63%of overweight north Indians and 38% western Indians interviewedweren't pursuing any weightlossoptions because they were happy the way they were. In southern Indian, approximately half of those interviewed said they didn't have time to pursue weight loss programmes. In Kolkata, the surveyed overweight persons said they just couldn't stick to a routine. Only a quarter of the respondentshadtrieddieting. 
    Endocrinologist Shashank Joshi from Lilavati HospitalsaidIndianshavewhitefat as againstCaucasianswhohavebrown fat. "Indian fatisdangerousbecause unlike the westerner's fat, it cannot burn down to form energy," he said. During winters, the brown fatthatcontains mitochondrialcellscapableofbreaking down the fat, help the Caucasians stay warm. Moreover, nutritional studies in India have shown that Indians tend to store more fat than westerners of thesameweight. 
    The common man is unaware of these subtleties. "People don't understand the need to maintain their weight," said Pune-based bariatric surgeon Shashank Shah. "Obesity is like any other chronic disease that needs lifelong treatment. It's not enough to just lose your excessweightthrough medicineor exercise. Maintenanceisthe mostdifficult part," he added. 
    "In spite of being aware of several weight loss options, we find limited takers for those options. While 88% believe that obesity is caused due to eating, we find only 25% practising dieting," said the ACNielson survey. 
    Doctorssay peoplehavetobe active,exercise regularly and, in extreme cases, even take medicine or opt for surgery to stay healthy. But the survey said only 30% of those interviewed spent a considerable amount on weight loss. On an average, the amount spenton weightlossby any consumer on a duration of say1.2 yearsisRs10,000.



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