Chronic Obesity: Unravelling the Mother of Diseases – Insights from Meyer Vitabiotics Forum

India’s big battle of the bulge – Breaking the obesity cycle at all ages – Insights from Meyer Vitabiotics forum

New Delhi (India), July 3: Obesity is a chronic, relapsing progressive disease defined by excessive adiposity that impairs health. A new term for obesity, i.e., ABCD or Adiposity Based Chronic Disease, has been coined to underline the need to recognize it as a chronic disease.

There has been a significant global increase in the obesity rate during the last 50 years. Being overweight or obese is linked with more deaths than being underweight. National Family Health Surveys (NHFS) analysis found that in India, 34.4% of men and 36.2% of women over the age of 18 years were living with overweight or obesity as of 2015–16. Additionally, there are over 40 million children under age five who are overweight. Carrying extra fat leads to serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis & endocrine disorders. 

The good news is that overweight and obesity are largely preventable. Obesity prevention is a critical factor in controlling Non-communicable diseases and psychological problems.  Lifestyle modification is the cornerstone of weight management. Orlistat is the only approved and available pharmacotherapeutic agent for obesity management in India at present. Bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for severe obesity that leads to the improvement and remission of many obesity-related comorbidities.

Meyer Vitabiotics organized an academic forum involving world-renowned experts in the field of Obesity and nutrition on 24th June’23 to share their opinions and experiences.

More than 150 practitioners attended the session personally, and more than 40,000 healthcare professionals in Pan India were connected digitally. With enriched content and immense learning, this was one memorable experience amidst the need to break the obesity cycle.

Dr. Sanjay Borude (Ho. Bariatric Consultant, Jaslok Hospital) emphasized the consequences of obesity relevant to the clinical practice. He also highlighted the benefits & challenges of Bariatric surgery as a weight reduction option along with a Balanced diet & exercise.

Dr. Rahul Borude (Metabolic & Bariatric Surgeon, Raheja Hospital) shed light upon the under-recognized concern of Childhood & adolescent obesity. He updated guidelines to manage increasing weight in this age group & how it can impact the adult life of obese children, likely emphasizing the psychological aspects of adolescent obesity, stating obesity can significantly impact a young person’s self-esteem and body image, leading to feelings of low self-confidence and social isolation. Negative body image can contribute to mental health challenges such as depression, anxiety, and disordered eating patterns at that age. Addressing these psychological factors is essential for the comprehensive management of adolescent obesity and for promoting mental well-being.

Dr. Rahul Borude (Metabolic & Bariatric Surgeon, Raheja Hospital) also elaborated on the social implications that arise from adolescent obesity. Obese adolescents may face bullying, and discrimination, leading to social exclusion and can affect their social interactions. 

Mr. Rohit Shelatkar (Vice President, Vitabiotics Ltd. UK B.Pharm, MS Pharmacology, QPPV, Nutrition Expert) elaborated on the epigenetic role of Nutrient-rich diet, physical activity, and lifestyle changes such as sleep patterns and stress in obesity management. Further elaborated on how certain environmental factors can influence gene expression and contribute to the development of obesity. In the context of obesity, Mr.Rohit Shelatkar (Vice President, Vitabiotics Ltd. UK B.Pharm, MS Pharmacology, QPPV, Nutrition Expert) also mentioned epigenetic changes that can impact how genes are involved in appetite regulation, energy metabolism, fat storage, and certain epigenetic modifications might lead to an increased propensity for weight gain or altered metabolic functioning. 

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