Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
Being overweight is a medical concern of serious nature
DR. SAMEER MOHAMMAD
The warning bells have been ringing for years now: overweight people are at an increasing risk of developing diabetes, heart diseases, several types of cancers, joint problems and a host of other life threatening health issues. Unfortunately, many of us haven’t got the message; there are many others who have simply preferred to ignore the writing on the wall. In our looks-obsessed society, lots of people think that being overweight is purely an appearance issue. The reality is that being overweight is a medical concern of serious nature and it can dangerously affect a person's health. Several studies have clearly, convincingly and beyond any reasonable doubt shown that the alarming increase in rates of obesity and diabetes are directly associated with over-eating and reduced physical activity. The free consumption of high cholesterol and salty foods, and smoking are all contributing to the development of these diseases. We have simply lost our sense of self-moderation when it comes to food which has resulted in these catastrophic consequences. Since these lifestyle diseases do not develop overnight, many people take these warnings for granted. But the buildup of many years of abusive daily life may later on show and regret is inevitable. This is why it is so important to treat your body well today and make sure that you are not paying the price several years from now.
In the last decade or so diabetes has increased at an alarming rate and continues to do so both in the developing and developed countries. The alarming increase in the prevalence of diabetes is directly related to obesity. The worldwide prevalence of diabetes is expected to double within the next two decades, with the greatest increase occurring in Asia and the Indian subcontinent, where it will affect >150 million individuals. A recent study has shown that Asian people have tendency to develop diabetes, liver steatosis and cardiovascular diseases even with a moderate weight gain in contrast to the white Caucasians who are only affected after a significant increase in body weight. This is real bad news and it means people from the Indian subcontinent have little room to play with and have to be extremely watchful, concerning their eating habits and physical activity. There are no separate data available for Kashmir but one doesn’t have to be a genius to imagine how dreadful the situation is, considering our poor dietary habits and lack of physical activity.
The way forward:
FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film about a man, Joe Cross who is 100 kilograms overweight, loaded up on steroids and tormented by a devastating disorder. Joe sees a 200 Kg man in the mirror whose belly was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn't end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn't far behind. The documentary chronicles Joe's personal mission to wrestle back his failing health during a cross-country trek in which he engages everyday Americans in discussions about food and obesity. The documentary is packed with insight and inspiration for people to live a healthy life. I recently attended a conference on “Emerging Trends in Diabetes Research” here in New York, in which diabetes experts from all corners of the globe shed light on various features of this disease. It was a wonderful experience, listening to people working on different aspects of the biggest healthcare concern of 21st century. I was amazed to see how much money and effort is being put into finding ways to prevent/treat obesity and diabetes and so far nothing significant has come out in spite of intense research efforts. All the speakers, however, stressed that lifestyle changes are sure to ward off obesity and delay/prevent the onset of diabetes. Encouraging people to change their dietary habits was a primary focus of discussion at the end of this meeting. A renowned diabetes expert emphasized that having a walk/jog/run 30 minutes a day is “priceless” in facilitating weight loss and improving metabolic functioning, resulting in reduced risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and several types of cancers.
Human diseases can be divided into two general groups - those which we have no control over, and those which we can control. Obesity/Diabetes falls in the second group and adoption of a comprehensive hygienic regimen which involves moderation in eating and drinking, daily exercise and personal cleanliness can greatly reduce the risk. Remember, there are millions who don’t get enough to eat and these people suffer because they don’t have a choice. Most of us are fortunate and have an option of making a good choice. The conviction to begin a well rounded lifestyle lies on our choices. Let’s pledge to take care of our bodies well today and ensure we don’t end up in regret later in our life.
Author is Research Scientist, Cornell Medical University, New York. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 7 Aug 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 8 Aug 2012 00:00:00 IST
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