Yoga, a Sure Shot to Melt Obesity
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06 December 2010
By Jayashree Nandi
If you are tired blowing up huge sums of money at posh gyms, you might want to spend time practising the traditional art of yoga to deal with obesity. It is common knowledge that yoga helps maintain fitness, and this year around, the World Ayurveda Congress 2010 in Bangalore will present a study to prove that yoga is effective in dealing with obesity in women in the age group of 30 to 40 years.
The congress is also expected to showcase 279 other major research papers on various diseases and policies.
It has been found that nearly 50% women across all age–groups in India are overweight – a number outdoing the 33% of obese men. It has been found that most of the obese women are in their mid–30s.
Why The Extra Fat?
Results indicated that besides excessive intake of energy and nutrients, sedentary lifestyle, heredity, marriage, pregnancies and hormonal problems are some of the causes of weight gain among women.
On the scale of heredity, 30.67% had one obese parent, while 25% respondents had both parents who were overweight. 20% of them had obese siblings, while 19% had obese siblings and parents. Only 5.33% of the subjects had no obese blood relations.
Around 55.15% subjects said they gained weight soon after marriage (before pregnancy), while 4% complained of hypothyroidism. Besides, faulty dietary habits like consumption of excess energy, proteins and carbohydrate were a cause for weight gain. 68% of the subjects did not exercise and most had eight hours of sleep with 14.8 hours of light activity and 0.4 hours of heavy activity.
Set For The Test
The subjects included 300 women (with an average body mass index (BMI) of 325Kg/m2) aged between 30 and 40 years and hailing from two Indian towns. The researchers collected information about their obesity condition. Their nutritional status was assessed by anthropometrics, percentage of body fat, analysis of selected blood parameters and research centre in the state.
CM B S Yeddyurappa is expected to announce this at the 4th World Ayurveda Congress beginning on December 9. The government will adopt one village in every district and develop them as ‘ayurveda grama’, medical education minister S A Ramadas said nutrition intake on the basis of a three–day diet survey before and after the intervention.
Of them., 30 were selected for yoga sessions, and 30 women who were making no attempt to reduce weight were made the control group. They were made to practice pranayama and yogasanas like ekpadauttan, uttanpada, bhujanga, shalabha, dhanur, ardhavakra, paschimottana, matseyendra, manduka and naukasana postures for 75 minutes everyday under the guidance of a yoga expert.
After the intervention, there were reductions in all anthropometric parameters (meaning body weight, BMI, waist and hip circumferences, WHR and skin fold thickness).
Improvements occurred in all blood parameters of the subjects of the Yoga group, though the margin of improvement was nonsignificant. The percentage of reduction in total and low–density lipo–protein (LDL)–cholesterol and the increase in high–density lipoprotein (HDL)–C was significant in the yoga group, compared to the control group.
The study was conducted by Dr K Kaur of the department of home science, Kurukshetra University.
According to head of Soukya and eminent naturopathy expert, Dr Issac Mathai, "A combination of yoga and diet definitely reduces weight. It has a multidimensional effect on the health system. For instance, it has an endocrinological impact and a metabolic one. More oxygenation through pranayama burns fat.
It depends on why a person is obese. It could be because of depression, bad diet, endocrinological problem or even heredity. For instance, breathing in yoga lifts depression and thereby reduces weight. However, there is no shortcut in yoga. It has to be practised regularly and under expert supervision," he said.