Obe­sity im­pacts qual­ity of life

Times of Oman - - OMAN -

“Apart from the lack of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, com­mon causes of obe­sity in­clude a poor diet and over­all lifestyle choices.”

The study, which was done by a team at OIC, an­a­lysed more than 3,200 re­sponses as part of their free on­line risk as­sess­ment, which used a per­son’s body mass in­dex (BMI) as the in­di­ca­tor.

While be­ing over­weight and/or obese may be an alarm­ing health con­di­tion, 43 per cent of the over­weight pop­u­la­tion said they felt good about them­selves com­pared to 52 per cent of healthy peo­ple.

Also, 62 per cent of over­weight peo­ple said that they are sat­is­fied with their lives com­pared to 72 per cent of the healthy pop­u­la­tion, thereby show­ing a di­rect cor­re­la­tion be­tween be­ing over­weight and self-im­age.

How­ever, when asked if they were will­ing to change, 37 per cent of over­weight peo­ple said that they had al­ready taken charge of their weight, thereby in­di­cat­ing that they wanted to be­come health­ier.

Pro­grammes en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to be­come health­ier are al­ready un­der­way. The United Na­tions Com­mis­sion on End­ing Child­hood Obe­sity (ECHO) listed six key points to prevent the ten­dency of chil­dren be­com­ing un­healthy from a young age.

These in­clude steps such as pro­mot­ing the in­take of healthy foods, pro­mot­ing phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, proper pre­con­cep­tion and preg­nancy care, health, nu­tri­tion and phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity for school chil­dren and proper weight man­age­ment.

“Over­weight and obe­sity im­pact chil­dren’s qual­ity of life, as they face a wide range of bar­ri­ers, in­clud­ing phys­i­cal, psy­cho­log­i­cal and health con­se­quences,” said Dr Sa­nia Nishtar, co-chair of the Com­mis­sion on End­ing Child­hood Obe­sity.

“We know that obe­sity can im­pact ed­u­ca­tional at­tain­ment too and this, com­bined with the like­li­hood that they will re­main obese into adult­hood, poses ma­jor health and eco­nomic con­se­quences for them, their fam­i­lies and so­ci­ety as a whole.”

Global chal­lenge

Sir Peter Gluck­man, an­other com­mis­sion co-chair, added, “In­creased po­lit­i­cal com­mit­ment is needed to tackle the global chal­lenge of child­hood over­weight and obe­sity. WHO needs to work with gov­ern­ments to im­ple­ment a wide range of mea­sures that ad­dress the en­vi­ron­men­tal causes of obe­sity, and help give chil­dren the healthy start to a life they de­serve.”

Khezia Resma, a nutri­tion­ist and di­eti­cian at Bur­jeel Hos­pi­tal in Oman, asked peo­ple to cut down on junk food, be­cause be­ing over­weight could lead to other con­cern­ing health risks.

“The first prob­lem of weight is that it can lead to obe­sity,” she said. “Hy­per­ten­sion and dys­lipi­demia may be de­vel­oped as well due to high sodium, choles­terol and sat­u­rated fat con­tent. El­e­vated blood sugar lev­els may also cause di­a­betes mel­li­tus type II for those who pre­fer sweets.

“Some may also de­velop kid­ney stones and uri­nary tract in­fec­tions with the ex­ces­sive con­sump­tion of chips, be­cause they are high in sodium, and those who drink so­das could be­come ad­dicted to them as well.”

“Most junk foods are car­bo­hy­drate-rich, espe­cially chips made from po­ta­toes, starch, corn or flour,” added Resma.

“In ex­ces­sive amounts, these pro­mote weight gain, con­sid­er­ing how they are cooked, which mostly in­volves deep fry­ing. Very rarely do junk foods con­tain vi­ta­mins and min­er­als.

“If so, they are in neg­li­gi­ble amounts as com­pared to the ad­verse con­se­quences one can suf­fer from eat­ing these foods.”

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