Indians people typically believe that the Indian diet is healthier as compare to Western diets. While this may be true if we compare average the Indian diet with say eating burgers, but despite this ‘healthier diet’, Indians are gaining weight, just like people in some of the developed countries like the US, Australia and others.
And this trend is extremely pronounced in urban India, where over the last 20 years, incomes have risen significantly, along with spending on food and entertainment. This, coupled with sedentary lifestyle is increasing waistlines. And this is not our theory, but data is showing this.
Multiple surveys over the last few years have been pointing to this. Fitho recently did a survey, which included over 4000 people – who read the daily newspaper, mostly in urban India: metros, Tier 1 and Tier 2 towns, and the data was surprising –
– Almost 3 out of 4 participants (i.e. 73%) were overweight.
– 46% (almost half) of the participants were obese, i.e. a BMI more than 25 kg/m2.
– Men and women were both equally overweight.
– Women have a tendency to become overweight, up to 2 years before men.
– The average BMI of a participant was 25.5 kg/m2, which puts them in the obese category.
The problem with increasing waistlines is not one of aesthetics, but of the multiple health disorders that are associated with it. And Indians actually have it worse- Indians are genetically prone to storing fat around the belly, which is directly related to lifestyle disorders like diabetes, heart disease, and a lot more.
As a result, WHO has predicted India to be the diabetes capital of the world. Keeping this high risk of Indians in mind, the Indian Health Ministry in 2012 released lower BMI guidelines for a health weight.
The survey data showed some interesting trend –
– The average person goes from a healthy weight at 26 years to an obese BMI at 38 years.
– The average weight loss needed was approximately 11 kg.
– It takes about 12 years to gain the weight.
– To lose the weight through a healthy diet program requires approximately 3 months.
So, India’s weight and obesity problems are not out of control, but it’s important for Indians to take control of their health.