02 December 2011
In simple terms, obesity implies intake of more calories than are being used by the body. It is a disease which is harder on women than men, and thus women should take extra precautions to keep it away.
What leads To Obesity?
There was a time when women kept the extra fat away by being involved in day-to-day household work. The physical movement was enough to keep them slim and trim. But nowadays, few women work around the house because most of them are working. Many corporate women agree that working around the kitchen is almost impossible! So meals mostly consist of ready-to-eat food or takeaways (like pizzas or burgers).
Use of the microwave and refrigeraterated cooked food may also lead to unhealthy food habits.
India is a tropical country and our genetics are suited to eating freshly cooked food. One must also stick to the diet one's ancestors have bred upon; a sudden change in eating pattern can cause a negative effect on the body.
A lot of women follow an unhealthy lifestyle without guilt because they go to the gym. However, an imbalance between what they eat and their exercise regime may still occur and cause obesity. Another factor that may lead to obesity is consumption of hormonal supplements and emergency contraceptives, which are now used frequently without thinking about the associated side-effects.
Other causes of obesity in women include their age cycle (puberty, menopause, pregnancy etc), depression and stress due to personal problems or competitive work environment.
How to detect obesity?
- Obesity can be detected by the following ways:
- Weight monitoring
- Learn to calculate your own BMI (Body Mass Index — A count of 24 is an ideal BMI, while the BMI of an overweight woman ranges from 25 to 29. If it's beyond 30, you are obese.)
- Waist to Hip ratio (Ideal:
- Exertion meter — To check how much physical exertion your body faces on a day-to-day basis
- Ovarian & thyroid screening tests
- Stress Test
- Cholesterol / Lipid Profile
Need for counseling
Many people ignore the need for counselling in obesity. Obesity can have a negative impact on the woman's mental state, making her depressed which further adds to obesity. She may not want to discuss obesity openly and thus there is a need for professional counselling.
Caring for employees
Health organisations across the world have implemented various effective programmes for fighting various communicable diseases but now the non-communicable diseases pose a greater threat to the quality of life of the people, obesity being one of them.
Companies should realise that obesity among their employees is a threat to their productivity because it results in:
Reduced energy levels
Higher health insurance premiums
Corporate organisations should take steps to keep away obesity among its employees by conducting workshops, screening tests and providing in-house support groups and health facilities.
Tackling obesity is a continual effort over one or two years. Don't get carried away by the claims made by slimming centres and instant weight reduction schemes.
Besides, sudden weight loss is equally harmful to the body and is not a permanent solution. Healthy eating habits should be a consistent practice.
And most importantly, choose a lifestyle that keeps your body fit and in shape.