26 November 2010
Rough estimation puts the figure of Hypertension patients at about 10 crores, Diabetes at 5 crores and Heart disease at 10 crores in India. Many people have all the three. But the number of Obese may be about 50% of the middle or upper middle class anything in the range of 20 crores. All these diseases are related to each other – and are thus called "Cousin Diseases". Obesity precedes all the three cousins, and so can be called the 'Eldest of the cousins'.
The irony is that all these cousin diseases are on the rise – the numbers increasing by leaps and bounds. They have a common origin – high calorie and high fat food, lack of fiber in the food, lack of exercise and plenty of stress. They are also related to each other – first to arrive is Obesity, then comes high BP (Hypertension) and Diabetes. When all the three cousins are there the fourth cousin – the most fatal of them – the heart disease also arrives.
What is The Cause of Obesity?
Obesity is the result of accumulation of excess fat in the body – and these accumulate when we eat more calories and spend fewer calories. One kilo of overweight (which means 1000 gm of fat deposit all over the body) is the result of surplus of 9000 calories (each gram of fat has 9 calories). So, if someone is obese by 10 kilograms – the surplus calories stored in the body is equivalent to 90,000 extra calories.
These kilograms of extra fat is stored below the skin all over the body – with special accumulations in the abdomen, buttocks, A normal adult needs about 1600 calories in a day to run the body.
This is fulfilled by the breakdown of the food by the intestines into small particles – which reach the blood and ultimately to every cell of the body. The cells have tiny power houses (called Mitochondria) which convert these food particles into calories. These calories are then used by the body cells to carry all the activities of ours.
If you analyse now two reasons can lead to accumulation of extra calories in the body
- Excess calories in food
- Less expenditure of calories by the body
Less Expenditure: Less walking, high sedentary activities ( lying, sitting and standing), less manual work (climbing, mopping of floor, carrying weight, washing clothes, cycling)
The Deadly Connections of Obesity:
Obesity and Diabetes: It has been seen that obesity leads to defective insulin. Lack of activity of obese people, excess eating of fat and sugar by obese also leads to Diabetes.
Obesity and Hypertension: In obese, the body's peripheral resistance increases and this is the major cause of High BP in them. Excess stress, high fat food, less exercise, and high salt intake in obese people also lead to Hypertension.
Other complications associated with Obesity: Knee joint pain (Osteoarthrites), Back pain (because of Spondylosis, slip disk), Osteoporosis, flat foot, thyroid problem, low self esteem, infertility, depression.
Obesity and Heart Disease:
The most deadly or fatal association of Obesity is Coronary Heart Disease – the highest killer disease of the country. The mushrooming of the heart hospitals and excess number of Bypass Surgery/Angioplasty, and tremendous increase in the heart attack cases are also associated with obesity.
Excess fat in the food (Cholesterol and Triglycerides) in obese – leads to deposits of fats in the Coronary tubes leading to heart disease and heart attacks. Each gram of oil or tryglyceries leads to blocks and gives nine calories to the body.
The Zero oil food suggested by Saaol (Science and Art of Living) is a vital way to take care of heart disease and obesity. More than 1000 recipes have been developed by Saaol – which are equally tasty but cooked without oil. Saaol has a team of doctors, dieticians, and yoga experts who work together to reduce obesity and heart blockages.
Dr Bimal Chhajer
MBBS, MD, Author, Ex–Assistant Professor at AIIMS,
New Delhi & Director,
Saaol Heart Center