Christian Medical College Hospital, here, is all set to start a ‘severe obesity clinic’ that would focus on obesity related problems faced by people in the country. According to professors Inian Samarasam, Sudhakar Chandran and Vijay Abraham attached to the department of upper gastrointestinal surgery, the clinic would be a first-of-its-kind and would be managed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts comprising endocrinologists, bariatric surgeons, respiratory physicians, dieticians, occupational therapists and psychologists.
According to them, a study by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations revealed that around 15 per cent of the population in India was suffering from overweight problems, as the average calorie intake of Indians had gone up by 25 per cent (from 2,000 to 2,500 calories) while the physical activity had come down by almost 60 per cent, leading to obesity with metabolic syndrome. Obesity is a significant problem as it is associated with diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, increased blood cholesterol, heart diseases, asthma, sleep apnoea, arthritis, infertility, depression, cancer, etc. that results in a reduced life expectancy. So far, there is no drug that would effectively treat obesity, but surgery could be a possible solution. The bariatric surgery is a long-term treatment which helped not only in weight loss but also in the reversal of a number of obesity associated diseases, they said.
Dr Inian said obese patients with a BMI of more than 35 or 40, associated with comorbidities like diabetes, in the age group of 40 to 50, motivated and committed to life style changes are the eligible to undergo this surgery.