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Half of Pakistani population found to be Obese, faces high risk of Diabetes

LAHORE: the Scientific survey has revealed that half of the population in Pakistan is at high risk of suffering from diabetes. With 50 percent of the population found to be obese, Pakistanis face a real threat.

Prof Dr. AH Amir from Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, while addressing the 5th Annual Mid-Summer Endocrine conference organized by the Pakistan Endocrine Society said that;

“This real-time research survey provides the most reliable data on the prevalence of obesity in Pakistan, therefore, should serve as a call for action for it leaves country’s half of population vulnerable to diabetes.”

Prof Amir further said that the World Health Organization (WHO) has set different guidelines on Body Mass Index (BMI) for global population and South Asia.

For the global population, WHO calculates numeral 25 for normal BMI, 25 to 30 for overweight, 30 to 35 for obesity class-I, 35 to 40 for obesity class-II and 40 or above BMI for obesity class-III population. Whereas, WHO sets stricter BMI standards for South Asian countries, which set numeral 23 for normal BMI, 23 to 27.5 for overweight, 27.5 to 32.5 for obesity class-I, 32.5 to 37.5 for obesity class-II and with 37.5 or above BMI among obesity class-III population.

Considering World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines on Body Mass Index (BMI) for South Asia a benchmark, this real-time research survey has been conducted on 18,856 subjects in all parts of the country according to required medical standards for such scientific surveys.

According to the study, 29 percent of the populations are overweight, 31 percent among obesity class-I, 13 percent of them in obesity class-II and 7 percent among obesity class-III categorization, which suggests half of the country’s population is obese.

The prevalence of obesity in the world is 19 percent fewer than Pakistan as 31 percent of world’s population is obese with 35 percent of them being overweight, 20 percent among obesity class-I, 7 percent of them in obesity class-II and 4 percent among obesity class-III categorization.

Prof Amir said that Endocrinology is less understood specialty in Pakistan, and therefore not many people are trained in this field of medicine.

“Endocrinology is 90 per cent diabetes, and with every 5th or 6th person being a sugar patient suggests the scale of diabetes in Pakistan, and thus, the importance and need of Endocrinologists in Pakistan.”

Amir also added that it is unfortunate that we only have 60 Endocrinologists in Pakistan with not a single Endocrinologist in Balochistan.

He said that diabetes is the main contributor to heart diseases, 50 percent of kidney diseases, and 50 percent of blindness.

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