Obesity becoming leading cause of premature deaths in Pakistan – The News International


Posted: January 30, 2020 at 7:45 am

Obesity becoming leading cause of premature deaths in Pakistan

Pakistan is facing an epidemic of obesity where around 40 to 50 million people over the age of 20 years are obese and overweight, while obesity among children is also on the rise, resulting in premature deaths and permanent disability among Pakistani people due to complications of diabetes, hypertension, Ischemic heart disease and stroke.

Despite being a developing country, obesity is alarmingly on the rise among Pakistani population where around 40 to 50 million people are either obese or overweight. Similarly, hundreds of thousands of Pakistani children are also obese and overweight. World Health Organisation estimates that by 2045, Pakistan would among top 10 countries with obese children, said Dr Tanvir Raazi Ahmed, a renowned bariatric and metabolic surgeon, while delivering an awareness talk at T2F here.

Dr Raazi was delivering the talk on the theme of Aaj sey thora kam (A little less from today), launched a local organisation, striving to control the epidemic of obesity in Pakistan. On the occasion, participants were screened for diabetes, hypertension and obesity and over 50 per cent of the people attending the session were found to be obese with their Body Mass Index over 30.

Quoting National Diabetes Survey of Pakistan (NDSP) carried out by the Baqai Institute of Diabetology and Endocrinology (BIDE) Karachi, in collaboration with the Government of Pakistan, Dr Raazi maintained that more than 76.2 per cent of Pakistanis had been found to be overweight according to international standards, as their Body Mass Index (height and weight ratio) was more than 23. Similarly, 62.1 per cent of Pakistani men and women were found to be obese as they had a BMI level above 25, he added.

Dr Raazi maintained that unfortunately, in poor countries like Pakistan, obesity and malnutrition coexisted, but obesity was the leading cause of diabetes, hypertension, arthritis, kidney diseases, fatty liver disease, obstructive sleep apnea and many other disorders, saying this obesity was a disease and resulting in premature deaths and permanent disability among very young people in the country.

Type 2 Diabetes, Dr Raazi said, is the more serious disease caused by the obesity and claimed that in Pakistan, every 4th Pakistani of over the age of 20 is diabetic while every 5th Pakistani is pre-diabetic, which means that he or she is going to acquire diabetes sooner or later if they do not mend their ways and adopt a healthy living style.

Revealing other shocking details of the NDSP, Dr Raazi said that owing to obesity over 52 per cent of Pakistani population suffers from hypertension while as many as 93 per cent people in Pakistan are found to have dyslipidemia (abnormal amount of lipids) or high cholesterol.

This shows that the majority has prioritised eating and living a sedentary lifestyle. Gaining weight is the major cause of diabetes and hypertension in addition to hacing ischemic heart disease and stroke, which are leading causes of death and disability among people in Pakistan, he observed.

As obesity is the leading cause of diabetes and hypertension, these ailments are the biggest causes of heart attacks, stroke, renal failure, blindness and amputations, and it is feared that millions of people would be dying of these diseases, while thousands would become handicapped in the coming years, Dr Raazi warned.

Lifestyle modification

The metabolic surgeon claimed that lifestyle modification including daily exercise, controlling diet was one of the solutions to control weight and avoid becoming obese, but now medical science also offers bariatric or metabolic surgery, which not only helps people in controlling their weight but also prevents diabetes, controls hypertension and help obese people live a normal life.

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Obesity becoming leading cause of premature deaths in Pakistan - The News International

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