Why Has Kathmandu Turned Into A City Of Fat People?


Obesity is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality all over the world. This heath menace is slowly catching up in Nepal as well. One is known to be Obese if their Body Mass Index is greater than 30 kg/m2.  Body Mass Index is calculated by dividing the weight of the person in kilogram’s by the height in meters.

Obesity is catching up in the middle-aged group, especially people who are reaching their forties and above. People who are nearing their middle age seem to be stressed by workload and find comfort in food. Also factors like inability to make time for regular exercise seem to be a contributory factor.

Females have a greater prevalence of obesity as compared to the males, the reasons for that could be due to the already stated reason of depression, Oral Contraceptive use, Hypothyroidism or genetic predisposition. However there is a minor degree of obesity among the youth as they like to keep their weight under check due to other obvious reasons of fashion concern.

But the growing trend of eating street food among the youth might make them more susceptible to obesity. Street food consists of momo, fried chicken and any other deep stirred food, consuming that on a regular basis might keep the hunger away but it welcomes other food borne diseases like hepatitis and typhoid fever.

The majority of the People in Nepal consume less meat and instead they consume large quantities of starch filled vegetables which can lead to the increase in weight.  Potato seems to be present in all of the major vegetable dishes which are an addition to the calorie intake.  According to some people, Chubbiness reflects a person’s wealth and social standard which gives them ease over their weight issue.

I was actually visiting my relatives, where I was offered so much food over a very short time. I was not even hungry but they insisted and I had no other option but to eat. Relatives also create unnecessary circumstances where one has to eat even with the full stomach. There is a common saying in Nepali ” Pet charkayera khana khanu ” meaning eat until your stomach bursts. People actually feed their guest to this level.

Increasing your weight and increasing your fat around the waist region is not the same thing. The fat that lies around the waist is the major contributory risk factor for diseases such as Diabetic Mellitus and Hypertension. The waist circumference indicates the amount of visceral fat that one has. Males are at risk if their circumference is above 37 inches and females are at risk if their waist line is above 32 inches.

Staying at risk for chronic diseases and getting the disease is two different things. When you are at risk, you have a very good chance of reversing back to the original state and when the risk attacks you; the chances of reversibility are less.

Maintaining a regular schedule for exercise or activities other than the normal” work to home” pattern can bring changes to your life.  Old age depression can also be tackled by doing regular cardio-respiratory centered exercises like yoga or walking for at least one hour.  Cutting down on the starch intake and taking a balanced diet are the main stay approaches to decrease the fat level in the body.

Kathmandu is a beautiful city but the people are slowly catching up with obesity and what people don’t understand is that, it is a silent killer.  It doesn’t create much hush before it takes toll. It’s preventable and people should be aware of this. The government should make awareness campaigns against obesity so that people can take an active approach from early stages.

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