It’s shocking to read at times certain ill effects of health. Recently, I was alarmed after reading a study named ‘Finding a policy Solution to India’s Diabetes Epidemic’ By Karen Siegel, K. M Venkat Narayan and Sanjay Kinra. The study indicated that ‘In India, thirty-five million people have diabetes—a number expected to more than double by 2025, disproportionately affecting working-age people.’ That means 70 million people. Isn’t this alarming?
And Diabesity = Diabetes+ Obesity is even worse. Obesity is a key risk factor for diabetes. India has the world’s largest number of people with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) and impaired fasting glucose (IFG), which are the precursors for diabetes. Obesity and IGT are mostly found in younger populations.
What are the major causes that are leading to Diabesity?
- Globalization- Facilitates access to various pre-packaged and processed foods, Minimal physical activity as we get things sitting in one place just with the click of a mouse. Surely, we are growing economically but, at the cost of our health?
- Nutrition Transition– There is a major shift observed in the meal patterns of Indians today. People are turning more towards western foods, foods that are pre-packaged, ready to eat foods, high in calories, sugar, aerated drinks, hydrogenated fats over the simple traditional food which are high in vitamins, minerals, fibre and other essential nutrients
- Higher percentage of abdominal fat– Abdominal obesity is the key factor of insulin resistance and development of diabetes.
- Malnutrition during pregnancy- Because of the co-existence of underweight and overweight, children are often born underweight and adapted to a low-nutrition environment. Low-birth weight infants are more susceptible than those of normal birth weight to obesity and diabetes, especially when raised in an Obesogenic environment.
- Lifestyle- One leads a sedentary lifestyle working sitting at one place. This accounts to minimal physical activity. At the same time the stress factor is the maximum with respect to targets/ goals associated with work/ family stress etc
WAYS TO KEEP DIABESITY AT BAY:
1. Healthy food choices– Choose whole grains and its products over refined ones, incorporate more fruits, veggies, Opt for products less in sugars, fats and high in fiber. Make a habit of reading nutritional labels before buying a product. Do not forget “MODERATION IS THE KEY”.
2. Exercise- Make it a point to exercise on a regular basis. Exercising will not only keep you active but also help reduce insulin resistance, improve cardio vascular strength, tone your muscles, increases basal metabolic rate (BMR). Exercising releases endorphins which is a feel good hormone that will also help you relieve stress(both physical and mental)
3. Stress management– Managing time and stress is essential to stop the release of stress hormone Cortisol which leads you craving for foods that are high in carbs and all that you eat when stressed is stored in the body as fats especially in the belly. Thus, building up the fats. Meditating regularly before going to bed, deep breathing during the stressful moments, indulging in your hobbies, exercising, completing your work on time etc will help curb the stress levels. It is not a single factor that would work but both