Weight Loss Diet

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, as extra body fat puts strain on your bones as well as your internal organs. It also increases inflammation in the body.

Obesity has been linked to a number of health complications like:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • certain cancers (breastcolon, and endometrial)
  • stroke
  • gallbladder disease
  • fatty liver disease
  • high cholesterol
  • sleep apnoea 
  • arthritis
  • infertility

BMI is a commonly used and reliable measure of obesity. 

WHO recommended cut off for BMI for Indian Population:

  • Table: 1(a): WHO recommended cut os for BMI
  • Underweight ≤18.5 Kg/m2
  • Normal BMI 18.5-24.9 kg/m2
  • Overweight 25.0-29.9 kg/m2
  • Obesity ≥30 kg/m2

Obesity in childhood is associated with a wide range of serious health complications and an increased risk of related illnesses early in life.

The fundamental cause of obesity is decrease in physical activity and change in eating habits due to the nature of many types of work, more access to transportation and increased urbanization.

Common specific causes of obesity include:

  • Imbalance of calories consumed and calories expended. There is increase in the consumption of food high in fat and sugars by the population.
  • Genetics, which can affect how your body processes food into energy and how fat is stored.
  • Growing older, which can lead to less muscle mass and a slower metabolic rate, making it easier to gain weight.
  • Pregnancy, as weight gained during pregnancy may be difficult to lose and might eventually lead to obesity.
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a condition that causes an imbalance of female reproductive hormones.
  • Cushing syndrome, a condition caused by having high cortisol levels (the stress hormone) in your system.
  • Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), a condition in which the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones.
  • Osteoarthritis (OA) and other conditions that cause pain that may lead to reduced activity.
  • Medications, such as steroidsbirth control pills or antidepressants can also raise your risk for weight gain.

A  structured dietary approach and exercise will help to build up strength, endurance, and losing weight. Take help of a dietitian to identify unhealthy triggers and for a suitable diet. Lifestyle and behavioural changes are the preferred weight loss methods.

Healthier lifestyle choices to prevent obesity

  • Aim for moderate exercise like walkingswimming, or biking for 30 minutes or more every day.
  • Eat well by choosing nutritious foods, like fruitsvegetableswhole grains, and lean protein.
  • Eat high-fat, high-calorie foods in moderation.
  • learn to cook healthy meals.
  • Watch on in-between munching.
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RD Smita Nanda
Nutrition Consultant
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