Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sedentary lifestyle is making people overweight,

A sedentary lifestyle is a mode of living in which a person, an adult or child, does not engage in sufficient physical activity or exercise for what is generally considered healthy living. The term is often used by doctors or professionals within the medical community to describe a lifestyle among many people in highly developed countries that does not afford them opportunities for physical activity. This type of living has been heavily influenced by the propagation of passive forms of entertainment such as television, video games, and computer use. Along with such inactive types of entertainment, shifting of large numbers of adult workers from physical labor to office jobs has also increased the tendency for many people, especially in technologically developed nations, toward a sedentary lifestyle.

'Erratic eating habits lifestyle is making people overweight...

Terming obesity as chief reason for a host of diseases, city doctors have come up with a list of myths related to weightloss. Shailvee Sharda reports.

Lucknow: Modern day professionals struggle hard to catch up with the survival race. And in pursuit of material happiness health takes a back seat.

Sedentary lifestyle is making people overweight, which opens a pandora's box of diseases, especially hypertension, diabetes and cardiac ailments," said Prof RK Saran, head of cardiology department at Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University, which remains flooded with at least 150 new patients every day.

While acknowledging that being over-weight certainly inivtes a host of lifestyle diseases, Dr Saran at the same time listed some of the misconceptions, which the 'health conscious' people generally nurse.

1: Medicines are a short-cut to lose weight: Majority of the people want to lose weight with the help of medicines. "Patients are convinced that this is the easiest way to shed the flab. But, this is merely a desire that cannot be achieved," said Dr Saran. However, he informed that certain medicines are available in the market to facilitate the weightloss process. But, its use depends on the patient's physical condition and age. He said that he would go with diet and exercise.

2: I'm overweight because of my illness: This is the most common excuse patients use to defend their extra pounds. "Over 90% patients believe this, while, this is true only for one out of ten of them. In the remaining, investigation is the only tool to decipher the exact reason," said Dr Saran. He added that there is ample evidence to prove that `erratic eating habits' rather than `over eating' turn individuals obese. Underactivity, in terms of absence of walking, playing sports, household chores, contribute to weight gain.

3: Walking helps: Doctors found that most individuals banked upon walking to lose weight after medicines. However, they still underscore the importance of dieting on the count. "If a person has to shed 10 kg of weight, then 8-9 kilos can be reduced by dieting, for the remaining 1-2 kgs walking may help. Once you've lost weight, walking is a good way to maintain weight," he said. Experts advocate sports and physical activity for persons between 15 and 35 years. Post 40 years, `four for four' formula (four kilometres of walking in 40 minutes for four times a week) may help.

4: `As it is I eat very little, still I need to diet?' Cardiologists at CSMMU can only smile, when patients present this doubt. "About three-fourth of the patients fall in this category. They will say that they take only one chapati each for lunch and dinner. But, forget to count biscuits with tea and snacks with coffee. In fact, we take a lot of time convincing them," said a doctor. Dr Saran informed that the overall calorie intake needs to be taken into account to assess if the patient was overeating or not. "This is a specialised task and only a dietician could help," he said.

5: `I'm not losing weight despite diet': Many patients tend to think that diet is a magic wand. "Adding to the belief are enticing advertisements that show a perfect body with a bubble promising 10 kg of weightloss in 10 weeks," observed Poonam Tewari, chief detician with a private hospital. Experts said that the first aim of diet is to check further weight progression. "So, if diet has curbed weight gain, you are perhaps moving in the right direction," they said.

6: `Diet makes me feel weak and giddy': This is another common complaint patients make. "This is true. But, largely this is psychological. Humans need very few calories to survive. But food security has made taste buds rule the bio-clock. So, we eat when it is time and not when we are actually hungry," said Dr Saran. He recommended taking small steps to diet. This means, that one may begin with checking sugar in tea coffee, drop fried dal later and then move on. However the thumbrule is to eat less than you normally eat.

7: `Weightloss programme could be easier': The fast life of today seems to have taken toll of one's patience. "Patients lose hope very early and most of them want quick results. So, those who can afford want to depend on fancy weightloss programmes," shared Dr Saran adding, "However, medical fraternity is against this approach." He reasoned that fast track programmes may show "instant results" but eventually they do more harm.

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