Obesity is a complex disorder of the modern world. It is defined as increase in weight of the body over 10% above the desirable level caused due to generalized deposition of fat.
Social factors have a marked bearing on the prevalence of obesity and certain situations create great effect on the eating habits of obese persons. Negative lifestyle habits, which contribute to obesity include:
- Improper dietary habits.
- Lack of physical exercise/sedentary habits.
- Intake of alcohol, smoking, tea, coffee, pan, zarda etc.
- Stress and strain.
Although most cases of obesity are due to simple overeating habit caused by emotional, familial, metabolic and genetic factors, a few cases due to endocrine disorders have also been reported.
Depending on the weight, obesity is classified as,
Mild to Moderate: 10–20% above desirable weight.
Moderate to severe: 20–30% above desirable weight.
Severe obesity: 30% above the desirable weight.
Treatment for Obesity
- Cold hip bath twice daily (if the weather is favorable) 15–20 minutes is advisable.
- Oil massage once a week improves the general health and also helps in mobilizing fat.
- Steam and sauna baths increase the body’s basal metabolic rate and also help as an adjuvant in losing weight.
- Warm water immersion baths with Epsom salt for 15–20 minutes duration too are helpful.
- Friction baths, graduated immersion baths, neutral whirlpool and underwater massage are also beneficial.
- Any other treatment used for improving the general health could be employed in the treatment of obesity.
- Warm water enema, regularly for the first 3–4 days of fasting and thereafter every alternate day during extended periods of fasting is beneficial.
- Fasting initially for a period of 3–4 days on low calorie liquids such as lemon juice and adequate intake of fluids is useful.
- Fasting once a week thereafter is adequate.
- After breaking the fast one should be mentally prepared to go on a low calorie diet coupled with regular physical exercise like walking at a place of 5 Km for an hour, yoga and freehand warm up exercises till the desirable weight is reached. However, some exercises should be continued even after that.