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Obesity, diabetes on the rise in Pakistan: experts

obesity

By Our Staff Reporter

Karachi– According to experts obesity is alarmingly increasing in Pakistan and latest surveys and studies indicate that almost 25 percent of the Pakistani population, even small children aged 10 years and more are obese and over-weight, doctors and dieticians said here.

“Obesity is now the national health emergency and it is increasing at an alarming rate in Pakistan. Every 4th person is obese or in other words, 25 percent of Pakistani population is over-weight or obese. Without public awareness and use of technology, it can’t be controlled in Pakistan”, DrFareeduddin, Deputy Director of National Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology at Dow University of Health Sciences said.

Accompanied by renowned dietician Saima Rasheed and Dr Zakiuddin Ahmed, he was addressing a news conference at Karachi Press Club (KPC) on the launching of health portal fightobesity.info, supported by Pharmevo.

DrFareeduddin maintained that earlier, Body Mass Index (BMI) was used to describe obesity but now abdominal circumference is measured to know if a person is obese or not. “In South Asians, if the waist circumference in women is more than 80 cm or 31.5 inches and in men, if the circumference is about 90 cm or 34.5 inches, they are obese,” he informed.

Terming obesity or being over-weight as mother of most of all physical and mental illnesses, DrFareeduddin said doctors in the world were now terming it a disease itself, which was leading to other serious and life-threatening diseases like diabetes, hypertension, Ischemic heart disease, depression and ophthalmological disorders.

He claimed that obesity was on the rise since 2000 in Pakistan and by 2014, it had increased three folds in the country and now it has become endemic, and added that even young children were getting obese and becoming diabetics in the country.

Due to rising obesity among children, boys and girls are also getting diabetics and hypertensive as new onset of diabetes or new cases of type-II, which is lifestyle disease, is increasing during last couple of days, DrFareeduddin added. In these circumstances, it is heartening to note that a local company has come up with an electronic portal where a group of doctors and dieticians would present their advices and articles on the important issue of diabetes and obesity, he said adding that people would learn a lot from by visiting the site on having healthy lifestyle, balanced diet and recommended medication to live a normal life.

Renowned dietician SaimaRasheed said obesity, which used to be a problem of developed countries has become global phenomenon and now people in both developed and developing countries were facing the issue, resulting on increasing burden of non-communicable diseases on these states.

She deplored that people had stopped living a healthy life and instead of they were using unhealthy diet and indulged in practices that were causing them fatal disease. Even children are being reported with high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension, which shows that they have no physical activity and they are using a lot of junk food.

The dietician said awareness was key to live a normal life as due to ignorance, people were indulged in unhealthy living and added that the website on obesity and diabetes would help them gaining authentic health and medical information. DrZakiuddin Ahmed, the project director of the fightobesity.info said they had decided to come with a technology-based solution for Pakistani people and added that the website was prepared by the pharma company as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activity.

This website would provide a complete solution to Pakistani families of their health issues, especially those having obesity, diabetes and other related illnesses, he said, adding that people would be able to chat with doctors and dieticians, attend their webinars, seek medical advice and upload their medical record on the website to access it anytime, anywhere in the world.

May 5, 2016

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