Increasing Burden of Obesity Epidemic & Heart Disease- a dual terrorist in India

Longer the Waist line, shorter the lifeline.  

Increasing Burden of Obesity Epidemic & Heart Disease- a dual terrorist in India

Dr. H.K. Chopra

There is steep rise of Obesity in Indians. According to study the prevalence rate of obesity in hospital population is 65%, out of which 70% are females and 60% are males. There is a rising trend of obesity (Insulin-Resistance Syndrome or Chaos Syndrome or Obesity syndrome) in Indians as compared to its counterpart in the Western and European world.

The metabolic syndrome is characterized predominantly by pot belly of more than 90 cms in men and 80 cms in women, increased bad cholesterol, i.e., triglycerides of more than 150 mg %, hypertension of more than 120/80 mm Hg, glucose intolerance with fasting blood sugar of more than 110 and good cholesterol, i.e., HDL of less than 40 mg % in men and less than 50 mg % in women.  The pot belly is the more powerful predictor of metabolic syndrome and premature CVD (Cardio Vascular Disease) in the age group of 40-60 is reported in the study and has higher mortality and morbidity.

The prevalence of coronary artery disease in adults was 1% in 1960 & 15% in 2015 in India in the urban population. It is four times higher in Indian in all the age groups. To be an Indian is itself a risk factor for premature CAD. Risk for CAD is twenty times higher than Japanese. CAD is more extensive, diffuse, multivessel and more premature in Indians as compared to its counterparts in Western and European World. CVD mortality is decreased by 60% in Japan and Finland, by 50% in Australia, Canada and USA and by 25% in Europe. According to WHO projections there will be 100% rise in mortality from CAD in India by year 2020. According to another WHO report 2.3 billion adults will be overweight out of which 700 million will be obese, 32 millions Indian are in the danger zone.  If drastic step in lifestyle optimization and timely medicalization are not undertaken the mortality and morbidity with the premature heart attacks will rise to very high levels of red alert. Rapid urbanization, globalization, industrialization and health transition are the main factors for premature metabolic syndrome and premature heart attacks.

Data show that individuals suffering from metabolic syndrome are more vulnerable to have high uric acid, polycystic ovaries and endothelial dysfunction, thereby leading to high morbidity and mortality by premature heart attack.  These individuals have high risk of premature heart attack, hypertension, diabetes, liver disease, stroke/paralysis by more than 10 folds.

95% of ‘Premature Heart Attack and Metabolic syndrome – A Dual Medical Terrorist of today’ is predominantly because of faulty lifestyle led by Indians in the form of lack of exercise, eating junk food, fatty and fried food with enormous trans fats, at the wrong time, in a wrong place, in a wrong manner, in a wrong dose, in a wrong environment, consuming less of fruits, vegetables and nuts, consumption of tobacco, excess of alcohol, excess of salt, excess of red meat, yellow of an egg, inability to cope with the stress of daily life such as meeting deadlines, work stress, negative competition, ego, arrogance, anger leading to imperfect mindset leading to suppression, repression, frustration, depression and poor choices of faulty lifestyle. A study which has shown that healthy heart can be enhanced by consumption of more fruits and vegetables, practice of regular exercise and stress management. I emphasize on the need of paradigm shift from Illness to wellness, pharmaceutical to natraceuticals. Nutrition optimization is the need of the hour to combat obesity. Every nutrient we consume reflects on our physical, mental and biochemical health. Cambogia Garcinia and green tea have been demonstrated to have obesity reduction potential.

Optimization of lifestyle by regular exercise at least 30 min a day and regular practice of meditation 20 min morning and evening, eating 5-6 helpings of fruits and vegetables and one helping of nuts, stress management, abstinence from tobacco and avoiding excess of alcohol and practice of all the eight limbs of yoga include regular meditation 20 minutes morning and evening, regular practice of yoga including all the eight limbs yama (do’s & dont’s), niyama (self-discipline), asana (various yogic postures of exercise), pranayam (breathing exercises), pratihara (contemplation), dharna (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (transcendence) may help in reducing the rising menance of these medical terrorist CVD and metabolic syndrome in our country.

I strongly recommend that one should consume fruits, vegetables, nuts especially almonds & walnuts which are healthy-heart nuts, on a daily basis. They reduce bad cholesterol and increase magnesium levels.  That is why it is called as a “superstatin”, which helps in reducing premature hardening of the arteries, thereby reducing the incidence of coronary artery disease.  Did you know that almonds are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, calcium and folic acid?  Recently, a study published in the United States showed that one ounce of almonds a day reduced the risk of heart disease by up to 50 percent. ‘What you eat definitely matters, but what is eating you matters much more!’  ‘How long you live is alright, but how well you live definitely matters’.

Nutraceuticals and nutrient optimization on a regular practice will definitely halt the rising menace of obesity and CAD epidemic in India.

We should act now before it is too late

 (Dr. H.K. Chopra has written this article for Meditoall. He is an eminent cardiologist of International repute. Currently, he is President, Cardiological Society of India and Chief cardiologist’ in Moolchand Medcity, New Delhi. )   




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