India's two faces - hunger and a lot of extreme excess weight

India's two faces - hunger and a lot of extreme excess weight

Obesity of its secondary diseases are on the rise in India
The population in India continues to struggle with hunger, poor medical care and infectious diseases, but there is another health problem in the wealthy sections of the population: overweight and obesity. Because of this, increasing number of cases can also be seen in the after complaints such as diabetes or high blood pressure.

According to “Spiegel Online”, the US Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) recorded a 45 percent increase in diabetes worldwide worldwide between 1990 and 2013, while an increase of 123 percent was recorded in India. In total, 60 million people in India would be considered overweight. According to the UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, India has a similar number of children (around 61 million) who suffer from malnutrition and hunger - more than in Africa or any other country in the world. Here the double face of the booming India is impressively shown.

Lack of awareness of the health risks from being overweight
In the wealthy strata of India, the typical "widespread diseases" of modern industrial nations such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and the like are on the rise, while in the poorer population groups tens of thousands of people continue to die of hunger and infectious diseases such as dengue, tuberculosis or malaria. For many Indians, increasing prosperity was associated with the development of massive obesity, although there is almost no awareness of the possible health risks, reports "Spiegel Online". Instead of changing the lifestyle at an early stage, they often responded afterwards with an operation to reduce the size of the stomach. The Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley, for example, had a corresponding intervention carried out. Previously, the 62-year-old had to give his speeches while sitting and occasionally interrupt them due to his weight problems and the resulting back pain.

Significant increase in non-communicable diseases in India
Similar to the finance minister, according to “Spiegel Online”, other ministers also fared. So Nitin Gadkari and Venkaiah Naidu would also have had surgery because of their overweight. The examples from the Indian leadership show how widespread the weight problems in India are now. As a result, cardiovascular diseases are now the leading cause of death, even before infectious diseases and diarrhea, reports Spiegel Online. Gradually the relationship between the typical wealth and poverty diseases is shifting towards the wealth diseases. Ten years ago, the risk of premature death from an infectious disease was roughly the same as that of non-communicable diseases such as heart disease. But today the probability of death from non-communicable diseases is twice as high as that of infectious diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). However, there is largely no awareness of this in India.

Benefits of healthy eating and adequate exercise not known
Education programs or preventive campaigns because of the widespread weight problems in the wealthy sections of the population have so far been in short supply. Because of this lack of awareness, the benefits of healthy eating and sufficient exercise are hardly known, "Spiegel Online" quotes doctor Atul Gogia from the Gangaram Hospital in Delhi. "We always boast of having such a huge workforce potential, but what good does that do us if our working population is sick," Gogia added. In India, almost no one from the middle or upper classes in the metropolises of millions walk any distances. The smallest purchases would already be done by phone and brought to the door by errand boys, reports "Spiegel Online". The everyday life of many Indians is correspondingly poor in movement.

Overweight operations
“Spiegel Online” also reports on the example of the brothers Vijay (16 years) and Suresh (20 years), who both had their stomachs reduced. Before the operation, they weighed 190 kg and 150 kg. Mother Sonu Lugani explains in the news portal that Suresh could hardly walk a few steps and was panting all the time. He had been diagnosed with high blood sugar and high blood pressure. According to the son, the cause of the development of excess weight was the uncontrolled consumption of junk food and the constant sitting on the computer - without any form of exercise or sport. The doctor who operated on the two young men performed 250 corresponding operations last year, according to Spiegel Online. Five years ago, the physician Vivek Bindal from Gangaram Hospital in the capital city of New Delhi only performed around 25 of these operations a year.

A comparable increase in overweight operations is estimated across India. Counteracting weight problems with surgery is widely accepted, but these are often not regarded as a clinical picture, reports doctor Aniruddh Vij from the Pushpawati Singhania scientific institute in the article by "Spiegel Online". For many Indians, he says, overweight is more or less accepted as something normal that comes with age, or the extra pounds would even be interpreted as a sign of wealth. However, many are not aware of the health problems associated with being overweight. (fp)

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