Sunday, February 27, 2011

Obesity Day Awareness Programme, Surya, Pooja, and Balaji participate it

The prevalence of obesity has reached epidemic proportion in India over the past decade. Several leading news paper articles have raised concerns about the manifold increase in obesity particularly among the Indian school children. The WHO estimates that around 1.2 billion people worldwide are obese using the body mass index measurement, with almost 1 in 5 men and women being overweight.

The rates are as high as 40% in urban population due to the fast changing lifestyle. “Obesity is now considered as a killer life style disease and is second only to cigarette smoking as the leading cause of preventable death says” Dr. Ravindran Kumeran, renowned Obesity Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals and the Founder trustee of Obesity Foundation India (OFI). “Obesity in India is close to becoming a health tsunami”, he adds.

Apart from creating a negative social stigma, obesity increases the risk of developing diseases such as hypertension, sleep apnea and type II diabetes. A recent World Hearth Organization study predicts that by 2030, nearly 70% of all global deaths will be from these non-communicable diseases. Most of the avoidable deaths (80%) will be in developing nations like India. Wide scale obesity would be a huge burden for low-income countries to cope with, states The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The Obesity Foundation India (OFI), a Non-profit organization offers many valuable tools to the public regarding prevention of obesity and information on safe and effective treatment. General public will be able to access information about the emotional, social and physical effects of all forms of obesity to the most current developments on its treatments in the Foundation’s website ( /

Regular free obesity camps and patient support group meetings are organized from a community-centric view point. As part of our efforts towards Continuing Medical Education, obesity related lectures are delivered in various medical forums. In addition there is an obesity helpline 98410 411 41 for the public to discuss their obesity problems. OFI is a great place for anyone to get involved and contribute towards the cause of fighting obesity. Membership is free of cost in 3 different categories at the’above mentioned website. We have more than 300 members to date. OFI organised the first ever obesity awareness walkathon in December 2009. Encouraged by the overwhelming support of more than 7000 registered participants, the foundation is conducting its second walkathon on the 26th of February at the Chennai Marina beach. Shaping India is a concept to raise awareness about the perils of obesity particularly among the younger generation. More than 100 teaching and corporate institutions have been invited along with the general public.

The 4.5 km “Shaping India” walkathon is to be flagged off at Chennai Light house by Ms. Kanimozhi, Member of Parliament along with matinee idol Actor Suriya in the presence of cricketer L. Balaji and Actress Pooja. The walkathon would conclude with presentation of trophies to the best participating school and colleges by the dignitaries. Whilst there are various treatments options available to tackle obesity related health problems, Dr.Ravindran Kumeran the founder’s vision is to prevent this major health hazard through such campaigns having a mass reach. ‘Obesity Foundation India follows the foot prints of the anti smoking campaign in the USA started in 1964 which led to more than half of the adult smoking population to cease smoking. This huge success was achieved through repeated awareness programs over several decades. The walkathon which has become an annual event in Chennai would spread across to more cities in the forthcoming years to become a nationwide movement in future”, he said

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