Lifestyle obesity in urban population – rising trends
urban population – rising trend, India has seen some prodigious lifestyle metamorphosis in the last decade. Stressful jobs, fat pay checks, never ending deadlines and long working hours
India has seen some prodigious lifestyle metamorphosis in the last decade. Stressful jobs, fat pay checks, never ending deadlines and long working hours – all have bestowed to some major pros and cons in the wellness pattern of living conditions for the people. While the pros are welcomed with a sense of pride to mark the expanding horizons in the global space as a growing economy, the cons have shown significant alterations that directly impact the way we operate and live.
Weight gain is one of the pertinent rising concerns of the urban society in the country now. The lower to upper middle class has seen some interesting lifestyle makeovers in all aspects; fine dining has become one of them. With hefty salaries and the arrival of multinational food chains all over, the crowd now has more access and reasons to put on weight. Men and women are now exposed to the western tradition of canned foods, takeaways, McDonald’s and Pizzas. The fast foods are major contributors to both the economy as well the body mass index of individuals in the current scenario.
The days of regulated jobs with healthy timings and homemade food been carried to office are slowly preparing themselves to sink into the oblivion. Why carry a ‘Dabba’(box) when there are fancy eateries all around the workplace, not forgetting the in house cafeteria loaded with junk food branded as a quick snack. “I don’t have time to sit around and pack a box. I get everything at office, so why should I carry a Dabba?” asks a 25 year old young IT employee in the City who works as a Testing Lead. The ramifications of dumping the home food is making way to ingest more packaged food, not so great for the health. However, the working class with busy lives is willing to be under the state of denial, making a debatable excuse called ‘time is money’.
The National institute of Nutrition has lately identified the sinking levels of nutrition in individuals and growing fat content inside the bodies thanks to this hep lifestyle – “Lays, Soda, Kurkure, Chaats and Pizzas..all these have replaced the traditional lunch and evening tiffin. The people who are subjected to this new fad are not aware that there are elements in these junk foods that increase the appetite and fat content, thereby leading to a decrease in the level of fibre and protein intake. The amount of cheese used in the burgers and pizzas is way above the levels that are required to be consumed in a day, resulting in that excessive calorie pile up. Frequent munching of chips at workstations leads to killing the natural regimen of the body” confirms a City based nutritionist.
Suddenly, there are lots of choices and less time to evaluate the need to indulge. People now want instant food to spare the time of even swallowing something as simple as a Chapathi. They are okay to resort to quick eats that come loaded with transfats and monosodium glutamate, a silent killer. No wonder are there increased incidents of heart failures and cardiac arrests in these working groups where men in their mid-30 collapse suddenly at office hours, only to succumb to death at the hospitals.
The fine dining industry on the other hand, is slowly taking advantage of this vulnerability demonstrated by the working groups. There are eight to ten restaurants that open up at the heavy traffic areas next to workplaces and gated communities to exploit the lethargy exercised by the modern families. There is a peak reported with weekend sales as families order in a Pizza or a Punjabi Thali while catching up over drinks with their friends or doing their movie nights. The intake levels are high with mouth-watering tastes and the willingness to go overboard, citing the reasons called stress.
“If one is stressed, they have to hit a gym. Stress eating kills people faster than healing them” says a fitness trainer from a leading fitness centre in Hyderabad. The declining levels of fitness in this group are a standing example that people sit and indulge while silently procrastinating that moment to hit the treadmill. “Making an excuse called no time is quite common. One has to make time to stay fit and active” confirms the trainer.
Another industry that has been heavily cashing in on the metropolitan section to binge is satellite media. Surprisingly, more and more programs based on fine dining, cooking contests and road trips for food are being aired with roaring TRP’s, showing off some delectable delights to the viewers, making them hard to control the urges. This move made for the sake of viewership and brand promotion is slowly becoming more of a health hazard than a viable benefit. People now want to grab a huge dessert after their evening meals; ice creams, sweets, sundaes etc., have made their way from the local outlets into the household refrigerators, after being ‘loosely’ inspired from the
Increasing number of health clinics promising weight loss with attractive captions like ‘lose 5 kgs in a week’ and swarming Yoga camps to try out the Power Yoga only indicate that lifestyle obesity is slowly on its way to becoming an unmanageable crisis. The sooner the urban population wakes up to do a reality check, the better it is!