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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1384-1385
Responding to the rapid upsurge in the rise of overweight and obesity at global scale

Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Responding to the rapid upsurge in the rise of overweight and obesity at global scale. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1384-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Responding to the rapid upsurge in the rise of overweight and obesity at global scale. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2020 Sep 21];10:1384-5. Available from:

Dear Sir,

Overweight and obesity refers to excessive fat deposition, which can harm the health status of an individual.[1] The trend analysis reflects that the estimates of obesity have easily doubled since 1980 across the world, with close to 2 billion adults being overweight in 2014.[1]

Moreover, the problem of overweight and obesity is on the rise in low- and middle-income nations, and in most parts of the world more number of deaths have been attributed to them than those associated with underweight.[1],[2]

Also, most of the developing nations are encountering the problem of double burden, with both extremes of the nutrition (viz., undernutrition and obesity or overweight) being simultaneously present in the same community or even the same household, and presenting an extremely tricky scenario for the policy makers to deal with.[2],[3]

Among adults, body mass index (BMI) has been used to assess overweight and obesity, while among children under 5 years of age or in 5–19 years of age category, it is evaluated using weight-for-height or BMI-for-age criteria, respectively.[1],[4]

These conditions precipitate whenever there is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and spent due to different reasons.[1],[2] Raised BMI is a definitive predisposing factor for the development of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoarthritis, malignancies (like endometrial, breast, colon, etc.), premature deaths, and poor outcomes of lower limb joint replacement surgeries.[1],[3] In addition, obese people have an impaired quality of life, have breathing difficulties, and are even exposed to social exclusion due to repeated psychological trauma.[1]

The concerns of overweight and obesity, as well as the related noncommunicable diseases are preventable to a great extent.[1] The need of the hour is to create a supportive environment and communities to motivate people to adopt healthier choices and therefore prevent overweight and obesity.[2],[5]

At an individual level, people can minimize the calorie intake from total fats and sugars, improve the intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and pulses, and indulge in regular physical activity (1 h every day for children and 150 min spread across a week for adults).[1],[2]

However, the output at the individual level can be optimized only when people have a simultaneous access to healthy lifestyles through constant implementation of evidence-based and population-oriented strategies to ensure that options for regular physical activity and healthy dietary choices are made available, affordable, and easily accessible to all individuals.[4],[5]

At the same time, the food industry has an important role to play by ensuring that nutritious options are accessible and affordable to the entire general population.[1] Furthermore, all the concerned sectors (like health, agriculture, transport, urban planning, etc.) have to also play their part, as all of them are interrelated and cast a defining role in the upsurge of obesity and overweight.[2],[3],[4],[5] In addition, at the global level, the World Health Organization has given enormous importance to support a healthy diet and ensure regular physical activity through motivating different stakeholders to take appropriate measures at different levels.[1]

To conclude, the concern of obesity and overweight has increased to a great extent globally and is expected to rise further. Thus, there is an immense need to implement appropriate interventions through the contribution of different stakeholders to motivate people to make choices of healthier food and regular physical activity.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

World Health Organization. Obesity and overweight - Fact sheet. 2016;Available from: [Last accessed on 2016 Jun 27].  Back to cited text no. 1
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Childhood obesity: a determinant of adolescent and adult hypertension. Int J Prev Med 2014;5:S71-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
Liu W, Liu W, Lin R, Li B, Pallan M, Cheng KK. et al. Socioeconomic determinants of childhood obesity among primary school children in Guangzhou, China. BMC Public Health 2016;16:482.  Back to cited text no. 3
Rathi P, Pawar S, Contractor Q. Wiser to prevent childhood obesity. Indian J Med Res 2016;143:373.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Zylke JW, Bauchner H. The unrelenting challenge of obesity. JAMA 2016;315:2277-8.  Back to cited text no. 5

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196685

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