Managing Obesity in Desi Communities: What Needs to Be Done?

Obesity rates are rising within Desi communities. We look into what needs to be done in order to manage obesity.

Managing Obesity in Desi Communities What Needs to Be Done f

a healthy weight contributes to better mental well-being

Obesity rates are rising all across the Indian subcontinent, with a total prevalence rate of 40.3%.

A study published in the Annals of Neuroscience found that obesity rates are highest among ageing, college-educated men and women from urban areas who live largely sedentary lifestyles.

These rates among the Indian population have bled into the UK, home to the 6th largest Indian diaspora.

Researchers also report that individuals of South Asian descent living in the UK tend to have an equivalent risk of type 2 diabetes at substantially lower BMI values than the current BMI cutoffs for obesity.

Meaning, the current UK healthcare system sometimes overlooks Desi patients with obesity who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, Desi children are subjected to unscientific methods to determine whether they are a healthy weight.

Being visibly skinny causes aunties and mothers to overfeed children.

But obese kids are also scrutinised and fat-shamed without being told what they can do to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, despite up to 40% of childhood obesity being rooted in maternal overweight and obesity.

What can be done

Obesity is linked to a range of serious health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers, and sleep apnea.

By maintaining a healthy weight and taking the proper approach to managing obesity, you reduce your risk of developing these life-threatening conditions.

Studies have also found that a healthy weight contributes to better mental well-being and enhanced quality of life, prevents childhood obesity for individuals with children, and reduces mobility issues.

To promote vitality, energy, and a sense of control over your health, here are some tips for what you can do to achieve healthy weight loss and reduce the chances of obesity.

Tips for healthy weight loss and reducing chances of obesity

Adjust your dietary habits

Managing Obesity in Desi Communities What Needs to Be Done

The availability of low-cost, high-energy, and low-nutrient foods is a major factor that leads to higher obesity rates.

Although many Indian dishes contain a high amount of fat from ghee, you don’t have to give Indian food up completely in order to successfully lose weight.

In fact, a lot of Indian foods are comprised of nutrient-dense ingredients like lentils, chickpeas, paneer, and yoghurt.

The key is to make sure each meal is balanced with enough macronutrients from carbohydrates, healthy fats, and lean protein, to fuel your daily activities.

You can even go the extra mile by counting the calories you’ve consumed. This guarantees that you stay within the recommended caloric intake for your personal goals.

Join a health club

Managing Obesity in Desi Communities What Needs to Be Done 2

Some weight loss programmes can help you find a like-minded community with shared goals, making your fitness journey feel less isolating.

There are online groups with dedicated coaching, live community cook-alongs and training sessions, and weekly check-ins to keep you on track.

If you’re struggling to find such a community within your own social circle, you can look for one online using keywords like ‘slimming clubs near me‘.

Being a part of a fitness community has been found to be more effective than going through weight loss alone, as your fellow club members can be there to support and encourage you every step of the way.

Sit less, move more

Having a sedentary lifestyle is a major determinant of obesity. However, trying to get fit doesn’t mean you have to run a marathon right away.

Start small by changing your habits: sit less and move more, or take some time out of your day for a relaxing stroll.

Try to gently increase your physical activity so you can slowly build up your strength and stamina.

It’s also helpful to find an activity you enjoy doing, whether it’s swimming or taking dance classes. Don’t limit yourself to only exercise, either.

For example, if you’re given the option to walk up a few flights of stairs or wait for the lift, choose to walk.

Ultimately, the goal is to enact small lifestyle changes that lead to you becoming more physically active.

It’s crucial to approach weight management with a focus on sustainable, healthy habits rather than extreme diets or rapid weight loss methods.

Consulting with healthcare professionals, nutritionists, and fitness experts can provide further guidance and support in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Hopefully, you’ll find the tips above useful for creating a healthy change that will lead to a stronger, better you.

Dhiren is a journalism graduate with a passion for gaming, watching films and sports. He also enjoys cooking from time to time. His motto is to “Live life one day at a time.”

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