Rising abdominal obesity has increased risk of cardio-vascular disease in Odisha.

According to the findings of a group of medical researchers the most alarming fact is that childhood obesity is on the rise making future citizens prone to cardio-vascular problems at young age. It can become a major medical challenge for the government. Medical researchers include city cardiologist D.S.Prasad, Zubair Kabir of department of epidemiology of Research Institute for a Tobacco Free Society in Dublin in Ireland, Ashok K. Dash from pathology department of MKCG medical college hospital in the city and B.C.Das of the Department of Community Medicine in Kalinga Institute of Medical Sciences, Bhubaneswar, who have come up with several research papers on CVD risk factors of Indians as well as people of Odisha.

They called upon the common mass to take a vow on World Anti-Obesity Day observed on Wednesday to counter the threat of CVD through the most cost effective mean of checking weight gain especially in the abdominal region. According to Dr. Prasad, increased health risk due to obesity has been mentioned in ancient medical texts like ‘Charak Samhita’ and writings of Hippocratus. According to modern medical norms obesity is defined as more than 20 per cent fat content in adult males and more than 30 per cent in adult females.

Epidemic proportions

Dr. Prasad said obesity in childhood and adolescence is also attaining epidemic proportions as about 15 to 20 per cent of the children in India suffer from obesity. The rate of obesity among children is also on the rise in Odisha.

Overweight and obesity in childhood are associated with diverse cardiovascular risk factors and has been found to be related to premature atherosclerotic lesions.

Excess body fat, thick truncal subcutaneous fat and abdominal adiposity are major predisposing factors for insulin resistance in south Asian children.

Recent changes in diet and physical activities of people residing in Odisha has also added to the problem of adnominal obesity. It is the consequence of increased urbanisation and mechanisation. The people in Odisha also have the distinct obesity pattern like all south Asians in the form of increased fat mass in comparison to other races.


The danger that looms large over the populace of the Odisha in the form of CVD risks with abdominal obesity as a major factor behind can be assessed from a study made by the above mentioned researchers. A survey based on populace of Berhampur had revealed that one third of the adults in Berhampur were hypertensive. Multi-stage random sampling technique was used for the study made in Berhampur.

Hypertension rate was higher among men than women. While 38.5 per cent of the male subjects were suffering from hypertension, it was 34.7 per cent for women. Cardiologists say hypertension is a condition that increases risk of cardiovascular diseases. Abdominal obesity is a key factor behind hypertension.