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World Obesity Day 2024: Health Risks Associated With Obesity

World Obesity Day 2024: Obesity day is observed on 4 March each year. This day tries to crate awareness about obesity and how to prevent it.

World Obesity Day 2024: Health Risks Associated With Obesity

World Obesity Day 2024: Obesity increases the risk of several chronic diseases


  1. World Obesity Day is observed on 4 March each year
  2. This day tries to create awareness about this serious health issue
  3. Obesity increases the risk of several chronic diseases

The accumulation of excess and abnormal fat in the body which may harm your health in various ways is defined as being overweight or obese. The World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) defines an individual as being overweight when their Body Mass Index (B.M.I.) is over 25 and obese when it is over 30. The prevalence of obesity has exponentially increased in the last 4 decades. The prevalence of overweight and obesity in India is increasing faster than the world average. About 15% of the global population is estimated to be obese.

World Obesity Day 2024: Know the adverse effect of obesity on your health

1. Obesity raises the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke - the two leading causes of death worldwide. The chances of diabetes also increase with obesity and long-term complications of diabetes are also more prevalent in overweight or obese diabetics. These may include blindness, limb amputation and renal (kidney) failure.

2. The degeneration of joints occurs in an accelerated manner due to obesity. Osteo-arthritis can set in earlier and be more painful and incapacitating in obese patients. Decreased mobility can further worsen obesity sending the patient in a downward clinical spiral.

3. Obesity is also a risk factor for many kinds of cancers. These include cancers of the uterus, kidney, pancreas, liver, oesophagus, and others.

4. Sleep apnoea is often seen in obese individuals. This is linked to an elevated risk of hypertension and cardiac events. Respiratory issues like asthma are more severe and respond less to treatment in obese patients.

5. Being overweight reduces the rate of healing of wounds and increases recovery periods after surgery. The doses of many conventional medicines are proportionate to body weight, hence higher body weight may mean higher doses increasing the risk of side effects of medication.


A healthy diet and active lifestyle can help prevent obesity
Photo Credit: iStock

Therefore, it is safe to say that being overweight should not be looked at as a merely cosmetic issue and its mitigation should feature as a priority in public health systems and for individuals. As in most illnesses, prevention should be your goal. A rapidly increasing BMI or just bodyweight should serve as a warning sign and it is the need to actively attempt to control this before it reaches overweight or obese levels.

Simple steps like understanding the body's needs when consuming food and beverages may bring the realisation that you are putting far more into your bodies than you need. Small but persistent steps towards increasing physical activity can bring in compounded rewards in weight loss which tend to stick rather than the transient loss brought about by abrupt and drastic changes in diet or frantic exercise regimens which are usually continued only for short periods at a time.

Also read: Poor-Quality Diet During Pregnancy Can Increase Obesity Risk In Late Childhood: Study

Packaged food and beverages, food high in salt content and oil, sugary snacks and similar items should be avoided or consumed in small quantities and rarely. Remembering to offset a dietary indiscretion with a compensatory decrease in intake or increase in exercise can go a long way in ensuring that bodyweight does not increase.

Fixing mealtimes and bedtime help increase metabolism adding that extra kick to our weight loss attempts. Going to bed early is also known to boost metabolism and aids in weight loss.

Different individuals may need different approaches and the same 'magical' solution does not work for everyone.

Understanding and acknowledging that your metabolism becomes sluggish with age (often beginning in the twenties) can lead to proactive measures which can nip weight gain in the bud.

Underlying disease conditions like hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian disease and others that may cause weight gain should also be addressed under the guidance of medical professionals.

(Dr. Kushal Banerjee is a Consultant Homeopath at Dr. Kalyan Banerjee's Clinic, Delhi NCR)

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