Studies conducted since 2012 have estimated that over 74 per cent of urban Indians are overweight (i.e. BMI over 23 kg/m2).
A recent survey conducted by Fitho, a wellness services organization that works with partners like Lal Pathlabs, showed that along with increasing weight, there is also increasing awareness and 5 out of 10 urban Indians are trying to lose weight.
While 40 percent of the overweight people have intent to lose weight but are not taking action to control their weight, the remaining 60 per cent are making an effort to lose weight.
The survey revealed that looking good, keeping fit and staying confident are the major reasons for the women and men under 35 to lose weight, while people aged over 35 and the heavily overweight (BMI>25 kg/m2) are doing it primarily for a better health.
The survey covered 4100 people from different cities and towns in India. They were asked about their health conditions, food habit, reasons for trying to lose weight, and how they were trying it. As the participants (46 per cent men, 54 per cent women, age: 18-75) shared their lifestyle, interesting figures showed up. While the level of obesity in urban India is steadily rising, the awareness and efforts reflect people's understanding of the health threats that obesity poses.
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The survey further revealed that the most commonly used tools to control weight loss were diet control, walking, yoga and gym exercises.
Women were twice as likely as men to choose diet as a primary means of weight loss, while men were 3 times more likely to choose the gym compared to the women.
Yoga and home exercises proved to be more popular than joining the gym, with balanced share of practitioners of both the genders.
Walking turned out to be the most common form of physical activity.
Apart from finding out who are trying and how they are trying, the survey was also purposed to find the food habits that lead to obesity or weight management.
Those who ate a mid-day snack had a lower BMI than those who didn't.
Those who ate out primarily weight 12 kg more than those who mainly ate home cooked food.
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Non-vegetarians weighed five percent more than their vegetarian counterpart.
Alcohol consumers weighed 6 kg more than the teetotallers.
Fifty-two percent of those who were overweight had heart related problems, 26 per cent suffered from diabetes and 22 per cent reported thyroid and hormonal issues. 83 per cent of the people who suffered from knee pain or back pain were overweight or obese.
Fitho founder Dhruv Gupta and author of popular weight loss book, Losing It said, "While many findings in the survey correlated with estimates around the obesity levels in India and their impact on people's health through lifestyle disorders, it was very interesting to note motivational factors for people, and their health habits.
For example, 1/4th of the people don't have any mid-day snack, and 14% ate fried food during the day as their mid-day snack. There was a ton of information that will help us improve weight management programs for people."