Obesity is defined as having an excessive amount of body fat. It is different from being overweight, which means weighing too much. Obesity occurs over time when you eat more calories than you use. An obese person has accumulated so much body fat that it might have a negative effect on their health. It increases your risk of diseases and health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Obesity is nowadays measured using the BMI index. The BMI is a statistical measurement derived from your height and weight. Divide the person’s weight in kilograms by their height in meters squared. For example:
How to determine you are obese or not?
|BMI less than 18.5||Underweight|
|BMI between 18.5 and 25||Healthy weight|
|BMI between 25 and 30||Overweight|
|BMI between 30 and 40||Obese|
|BMI over 40||Very obese (morbidly obese)|
If you’re obese, you’re more likely to develop a number of potentially serious health problems, including:
Treatment or Management:
The goal of obesity treatment is to reach and stay at a healthy weight. Successful and permanent weight loss is best achieved as a result of increased physical activity, changing how and when you eat, and modifying your behavior. Some of the tips to be kept in mind by the obese people are:
Other treatment tools include:
Ayurveda names obesity as Sthoulyam. Acharya Charaka, includes obese people among the eight most censured people in the society.
Nidanam (Causative factors)
Due to the causes vitiated Kapha makes obstruction of all minute channels(srotus) and makes the development of deeper tissues(dhatus) improper. So the vatha gets blocked inside the stomach which makes the digestive fire blaze. Such increased appetite makes the person eat more and thus gaining more weight. Transformation of dhathus get obstructed at the level of medodhathu (body fat) and the further dhathus like asthi(bone) majja(bone marrow) and sukram(reproductive tissue). At the same time all the tissue structure and functions are in imbalance due to vitiated kapha and the malnourishment of dhatus caused by it. Generally the body and mind of the person become weak and fragile.
Lakshana (signs & symptoms)
The treatment of obesity is based on correcting digestive fire and absorption, considering the physical and mental strength of the patient. This includes those which clear the dushti of medas, vaatha and kapha. Mostly, food and medicines with qualities like Katu(pungent), thiktha(bitter) and rooksha(dry) are used for this purpose. As the appetite of the obese is always more than normal, the treatment protocol includes heavy diet but dry ones which will not make the body fat more. The procedures include udwarthana, choornapindasweda, swedana and sodhana therapies like mrduvirechana. As the strength of the obese person will be very poor, theekshnasodhana procedures are not recommended. But in some cases vamanam and vasti can be implemented under the supervision of an experienced vaidya.
Pathyaahara-vihaara (preferred diet & regimen)
To be practiced:
To be avoided