Obesity: A serious health threat in Pakistan


As per the statistics provided by National Health Survey and World Health Organization, 20 Percent of Pakistan’s population is overweight or obese. Obesity is rapidly increasing in nearly all parts of the world.

These facts were shared by the Vice Chancellor, Dow University of Health Science (DUHS), Prof Masood Hameed Khan during a press conference held at Karachi Press Club. Prof Najmul Islam, Dr Zahid Mian and Dr Tehmina Rashid also present at the occasion. The press conference was organized by Pakistan Obesity Society and a local pharmaceutical company.

Prof Masood said according to recent population statistics, men are generally overweight, and women have a greater tendency to become obese. He said this health problem for both men and women, poses a major risk for the development of serious diet-related non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, increase in cholesterol levels, sterility, kidney dysfunction and certain forms of cancer.

He said excessive consumption of sweet dishes and fried items is a major cause of this health problem in both women and men. He said once obesity develops in the body, it becomes a difficult challenge to shed extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight once again.

He emphasized on the need of creating awareness among general public regarding obesity and its many implications. He also said that the subject must be addressed at school level to promote healthy eating and to prevent children from harmful diseases in the future.

Dr Zahid Mian said that this health problem is one of most neglected Pakistan health problems in our country. He said obesity is a complex condition, one with serious social and psychological dimensions. He said that it can affect virtually all age and socio-economic groups, and threats to overwhelm both developed and developing countries. He further stated that according to a survey, over 115 million people suffer from obesity-related problems and that if immediate actions were not taken to address this issue, millions will suffer from an array of serious health disorders.

Dr Tehmina Rashid said by promoting and adopting a healthy lifestyle we can combat obesity and its complications. She said “We should pledge ourselves that we will control our weight by adopting a healthy lifestyle.” She said that the major factors contributing to the development of obesity in individuals were excessive food intake and little or no physical activity.

She advised the people should avoid junk food and soft drinks to keep obesity at bay. She also said that proper diet management and exercise should be practiced on daily basis to reduce weight.

Source: Medical News Pakistan

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