Is the festive season putting you on the road to obesity?

Excessive indulgence during the festive holidays disturbs the diet balance Calorie awareness key to healthy diet, say nutrition experts

Patiala, 25th October 2016: With Diwali festivities lighting up homes across the country, most people are busy exchanging gifts and delicacies. However, as you attend gatherings and meet family and friends, make sure your indulgences do not compromise with your waistline!
This is the message nutrition and health experts at Columbia Asia Hospitals, Patiala are giving out on World Obesity Day.

Is the festive season putting you on the road to obesity?

Overweight and obesity – described as conditions in which excessive fat accumulates on the body -- are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now dramatically on the rise in low- and middle-income countries like India, particularly in urban areas.

“Excessive weight, particularly the accumulation of excessive fat on the waistline is much more dangerous than most of us imagine. It does not just make your appearance aesthetically unappealing, it puts you at a significantly higher risk for a number of lifestyle diseases. An individual’s abdominal girth is directly proportional to his/her risk of heart disease. Obesity today is not only associated with diabetes and heart disease but is also linked to increased risk of 13 types of cancers,” says Dr. Manish Khaitan, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala.

A person with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or more is generally considered obese. A person with a BMI equal to or more than 25 is considered overweight. BMI is calculated as a person’s weight (in kilograms) divided by the square of his or her height (in metres).

“When it comes to festive seasons like Dusshera, Diwali and Christmas, most of us (even those who are otherwise conscious about their weight) lower their guard. Diets tend to fail more often this time of year. We tend to believe that over-indulgence for a few days will not be harmful. But the truth is that a few days of uncontrolled eating can disturb your nutrition balance for a long time. The fat you pile up in a few days will stick to your body for a long time. It is therefore important to be careful about your calorie intake even in the few days of festivities,” says Dr. Manish Khaitan, Consultant Bariatric Surgeon, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala.

The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended. Causes of this imbalance include an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat; and an increase in physical inactivity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization.

People in India lack awareness about the nutritional contents of their food. It is important to educate them that food per se does not contribute to weight gain, calorie-rich food does. If you learn to reduce calories or carbohydrates in your diet and substitute them with vitamins and protein and exercise for at least 30 minutes five days a week, you can manage your weight well. 

“Normally healthy individuals need between 2,000- 2,500 kcal a day. It is important to have an estimate of which food item gives you what amount of calorie. For example, eating a meal of rice will be richer in calorie than eating a meal of vegetables, salads and gram. Learning to balance your calorie intake is key to maintaining a healthy weight. At the same time, many of us tend to forego our daily exercise during busy festive days. It is important not to do so,” adds Bhavna Sharma, Dietician, Columbia Asia Hospital, Patiala..

Tips to celebrate a healthy festive season:

•          Limit intake of sweets, say no to that second Gulab Jamun
•          Minimize use of refined sugar to prepare sweets at home so that there is no excessive calorie in your diet
•          Gift dry fruits to friends and family, rather than sweets to help others keep their calorie intake in control
•          Do not skip your daily exercise, even if you have a lot of work at home. Make sure you take out 30 minutes for that essential walk, any time of the day

About Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd.

Columbia Asia Hospitals Pvt. Ltd. is the only company in India to utilize 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) route in the hospital sector.

About Columbia Asia Group of Companies 

The Columbia Asia Group is owned by more than 150 private equity companies, fund management organizations and individual investors. The group currently operates eleven facilities in India and has presence in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Gurgaon, Ghaziabad, Kolkata, Mysore, Patiala and Pune. The company also operates hospitals in Malaysia (11), Vietnam (3), and Indonesia (3). The Indian management operations are managed from its office in Bangalore.