HYDERABAD: Healthcare firm Practo has said that they have witnessed a staggering increase of 550 per cent in the number of obesity-related queries since last year. This indicates growing awareness about the disease among people and an increase in the knowledge of treatments like bariatric and diets that are related to obesity.
According to Practo Health Insights (Nov 2019 - Oct 2020), online consultation witnessed a 550 per cent increase from last year in the number of queries for obesity, as compared with 30 per cent the year before. 65 per cent of all the diabetes-related queries came from metro cities, while 35 per cent were from non-metro cities. Most queries were from Delhi-NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune and Chennai.
70 per cent of all diabetes-related consultation requests came from men. 66 per cent of the consultations were from the age group of 21-30, followed by people in the bracket of 31-40 (28%), 41-50 (3%), 51-60 (2%), and those aged above 60 (1%).
What we searched:
Top searches include obesity symptoms and causes, weight loss, fat loss, diet management, childhood obesity, Covid-19 and obesity, and bariatric treatment. Dr Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said, “Obesity entails major risk in terms of exposing the patient to life-threatening conditions like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders, infertility, and most often than not affects the individual’s mental and physical well-being.
” Covid-19 and obesity was one of the most discussed concerns in the last six months after several reports hinted at a correlation between the two. It was indicated that people with obesity are more likely to have other diseases that are independent risk factors for severe Covid-19, including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes than normal-weight people.
Dr Amit D Goswami, a bariatric surgeon with 22 years of experience, who consults on Practo said, “Obesity can be controlled with lifestyle modifications and non-surgical means at the initial stage. However, after a certain stage, surgery (bariatric/weight loss surgery) is the only resort.”
Obesity in elderly
It is interesting to note that India has more numbers of obese people than those who are underweight. Reports predict a considerable rise in the number of overweight and obese people in India by 2040. It is particularly pointed out that there will be a substantial increase in obesity-related problems among the rural populace and the elderly.