Pakistanis on the verge of being declared as obese nation

Pakistanis on the verge of being declared as obese nation

HYDERABAD (APP): Eminent Cardiologist Dr Zaman Baloch has said that Pakistan ranked 9th in prevalence of obesity and if Pakistanis did not act to prevent obesity then 65 percent of country's population would become obese by 2020.

Talking to APP here Wednesday on the "World Obesity Day" he said that people become victim of heart diseases due to overweight and it was an alarming fact that there were 155 million overweight and obese children globally.

He said that Pakistan was struggling with its healthcare structure therefore , it is all the more important to adopt preventive approach to prevent diseases.

"Prevention is better than cure," he said, adding that prevention of diseases will allow us to focus on epidemic and other diseases. However, he said that, treatment for all complicated diseases was available in Pakistan.

Dr. Zaman Baloch said our food had transformed during the last 10 years as even children were becoming obese and cardiac patients.

He said entire weight of an obese person was borne by the bones and the person becomes unable to move, which further increases his/her weight. He advised people to use simple food, add fruits and vegetables to their menu.

He also clarified that obesity was not a symbol of health rather a disease, therefore, obesity should be taken as a disease and treated like a disease.

He said that 80 percent of obese children remain obese in their grown-up age therefore , we must be concerned about the fat babies rather than feeling happy about their obesity.

He said serious efforts were required to motivate the parents of such children to control the weight of their children in order to save them from heart diseases.

He said parents should help their children in reducing their weight through healthy diet and physical activities to avoid major risk factors of heart diseases.

He said that parents could play key role in influencing the life-long habits of their children, which could protect them against the ailment.

Those habits were healthy diet, regular exercise and no tobacco consumption, he said adding that children should be aware of what they were eating and drinking could affect their life quality and also determine their future heart health, said the cardiologist.

Dr. Zaman Baloch said primary prevention of cardiovascular disease needed to start at young age with parents and other community groups recognizing the opportunity they have to help the kids.

With the help of parents, schools and other community groups, children need to establish balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables like whole grains, lean meat, fish and pulses plus low fat and low salt products, he said.

Dr. Zaman said that regular physical activity also helps to slow down narrowing of the arteries to the heart and brain encourages the body to use up stored fat, he said.

Dr. Baloch said that the Physical activity is vital for good heart health as lack of physical activity can contribute to obesity and diabetes among children.