“It is becoming more and more arduous for me to carry my own body”.
“ The clothes don’t fit and the food has stopped filling my appetite, I can’t decide whether I should eat something or not”
“The diet doesn’t seem to work, I sometimes wish to cut myself in half”
These are the some of the appalling tales of victims of the preeminent avoidable cause of death worldwide, Obesity.
Obesity in Pakistan
It was only in 2013 that the leading world health organizations classified this condition as a disease, which affects more than 600 million people worldwide. It is characterized by glut of fats that tarps the body to the nth degree and makes the sufferer appear repulsive.
The prevalence of obesity in Pakistan is not latent either, rather you will find your community deeply immersed in a lifestyle that somehow aggravates their probability to become a casualty of excessive lard beneath the skin.
According to a study published by the world renowned journal Lancet, Pakistan ranks 9th in the list of countries with the most obese population. This news shouldn’t come as a surprise since our society is known for neglecting all the necessary precautions to avoid severe maladies, we wait for the problem to reveal itself instead of identifying it.
The number of inflicted Pakistanis is “swelling” with pace to an extent that it has cut across the normal threshold and turned into a pandemic and it doesn’t seem that anyone is willing to find “befitting” remedy for Obesity.
Where is this extra fat coming from
There are a number of factors that add layer upon layer of fat to our body and reduce us to a mere burden.
- Awry Cultural Interference
By far the biggest reason behind the rise of Obesity in Pakistan, is our unhealthy relationship with food which is based on adoption and blind following of “desi totkay” (native tips), “buzrgon ki naseehatein” (advices from the elderly) and “rawaaj” (tradition or culture).
Most of these words from the “tested” history maybe of temporary benefit but it is also true that they haven’t been scientifically proven. The sentimental value we give to these rather absurd tips is alarming and it won’t take long for the friendly looking “pakwaan” to turn into harmful enemies for our internal metabolic system.
- Unhealthy Food Habits
Our cuisine though seemingly scrumptious has many ——. Most of the our daily used food items are cooked in gigantic bowls filled with unnecessary amount of oil and ghee that isn’t efficiently digested by our digestive system. Instead of making us healthy their abuse is causing overweightness in the population. In pursuit of becoming “hattay kattay” (healthy) we are in fact packing our bellies with an amount of food that is dangerous for its sensitive nature.
The luscious “makhan ka khana” (food made with butter) and “ghee ke prathay” do more harm than good especially among pregnant women.
- Ignorance and Sedentary Lifestyle
While consuming any item we willing ignore its nutrient content. We have yet to make this act a part of our daily routine while buying food. This ignorant attitude along with our sedentary lifestyle is paving the way for obesity to slide into our body.
Most of the population spends a great sum of its time lying idly and consider exercise either a taboo or feast for the younger generation. This sedentary lifestyle is a leading cause behind the prominence of obesity in women and adults along with the inability to follow a defined diet plan.
While we ourselves are the culprits behind all the above mentioned causes, genetics is something we shouldn’t be blamed for. Obesity like many other diseases is multifactorial and genetics happens to be one of, unlike the obese, obesity “runs” in families.
Stats and Trend of Obesity in the Pakistani Population
If we look into the statistics of obesity we will come across startling facts with reference to Pakistan and also the trend that obesity is following among different categories diverge significantly.
At present more than 22% of the individuals above 15 years of age are suffering from obesity that is, they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) greater than 30 according to a report published by JPMA and it is believed that in a decade’s time, Pakistan will climb the Obesity ranking up to the 4th position.
This petrifying prediction makes the future of Pakistan’s population and their health even more dismaying. More and more people face the music of eternal rest of death owing to obesity and the diseases caused by it, each year.
It is the leading factor behind conditions ranging from cardiovascular diseases such infarctions to psychological disorders such as depression.
Today no one is safe from this consternating ailment that is progressively developing its space inside us
- At present 33% of the population is under the broad radar of obesity which means that almost 60 million are prone to this disease.
- Obesity is more prevalent in women than men because of the sedentary lifestyle and hormonal imbalance during pregnancy, women beat men by a margin of 10% that is 38-28% when it comes to obesity.
- Unlike the statistics among the adults, teenagers are showing signs of improvement when it comes to overweightness, in the past of few years the cases of obesity have decreased by 2 percent among youth and currently as low as 6% boys and 10% girls are prone to this disease.
- Like the rest of the world Obesity is more dominant in urban areas of Pakistan compared to rural areas. The mighty zingers and the beef angus burgers along with the heavenly steaks with fries are the ones to be charged here. These fast food item are an enormous reserve of fats and calories and they are deliciousness renders our metabolic system unable to break them.
Obesity among men and women living in urban areas is 6 to 7 percent higher than those living in rural areas belonging to the same age group.
Battle against Obesity
To fight against Obesity we especially need to steer the attitude of the general public towards the right direction when it comes to their perception of it. In Pakistan obesity is considered as a stigma and the people who suffer from it are referred with derogatory terms that lead to depression and make them escape from society.
These fellows find it difficult to adjust and thus they are made to live a life of seclusion, instead of being a help and encouraging them towards a better lifestyle we let them stay a source of amusement.
The cases of obesity as mentioned above are on the rise and we need to put a cork to this disease by making and executing effective diet plans and keeping in mind the necessary precautions to lead a safe and healthy life.