What Causes Obesity, How Can It Be Prevented? Nutritionist Tapasya Mundhra Explains | Swasth India

September 10, 2021 0 Comments

National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 5 survey found a drastic rise in obesity among children under five years of age in India in 20 out of the 22 states

New Delhi: In India, obesity is becoming a new health scare. According to the Indian Journal of Community Medicine presently India has more than 135 million obese people. The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 5 survey released by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, conducted in the year 2019-20 also found a drastic rise in obesity among children under five years of age in 20 out of the 22 states, where the study was conducted.

Also Read: Poshan Maah 2021: India’s New Health Scare – Obesity, Experts Say We Need To Tackle It On An Urgent Basis

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines obesity as excessive fat accumulation that presents several health risks. A Body Mass Index (BMI) over 25 is considered overweight, and above 30, it is considered obese.

Team Banega Swasth India speaks with Nutritionist Tapasya Mundhra to further talk about the rising issue of obesity in the country, what can be done to prevent it.

NDTV: What is the difference between obesity and overweight?
Tapasya Mundhra: Obesity is the situation where we get warning signs that our health is in danger. Obesity generally means a much higher amount of body fat. It is an alarming state whereas being overweight is the stage where you can rectify the problem.

NDTV: What are some of the symptoms that highlight that the person is falling in the obese category?
Tapasya Mundhra: When you start to feel breathless, when your stomach circumference increases to a large extent, you start experiencing knee pains, start facing issues while sitting or standing, start getting issues with cholesterol, your lipid profile goes haywire, and you experience the problem of sugar; then that means you are in an obese category.

NDTV: COVID-19 and the increasing burden of obesity – How can we tackle it?
Tapasya Mundhra: The trend that I have seen in my practice is that in the first wave of COVID19, the obesity factor wasn’t there as much as at that time people were also doing their own homework. But in the second wave, we saw a gradual shift in the lifestyle of people – their movements were restricted, they preferred sitting at one place, as a result growing obesity factor was seen.

But there is an urgent need to rectify it as soon as possible and take care of our health. We should go out for walks, do some sort of exercise or Yoga on a daily basis, follow 10k steps rule. Everything is possible if we want to do it, so we need to stop giving an excuse that we don’t have time.

Also Read: Late-Childhood Obesity Associated With Low-Quality Maternal Diet During Pregnancy: Study

NDTV: What are some health tips that can help one lose excess weight?
Tapasya Mundhra: These days, people follow the intermittent fasting trend, it is not a bad thing, but most of the people do it in the wrong way. They think they can eat junk or whatever they like in the eating window. I suggest, if people are looking to lose weight, they should avoid starvation, ensure they include fruits and vegetables in their meals. They should also avoid processed grains, instead opt for fibrous grains like millets, ragi, wheat atta. One should eat good fats, which doesn’t mean one should only have avocados or nuts. Have a roti with ghee on it. If someone is looking for weight loss, the key is portion control. Another important thing is to have dinner as early as possible. We should avoid eating at night and sleep immediately after that.

NDTV: Why are we seeing an increasing trend of obesity in children?
Tapasya Mundhra: The biggest problem is that there are so many options available to us. One can order junk in a minute with a tap of a button. To tackle childhood obesity, parents will have to play an important role. There is no age barrier in obesity, the youngest of the youngest lot can be tackled if they are given a balanced diet.

Childhood obesity needs to be tackled as if children grow up with obesity, their immunity will be compromised in later stages.

Also Read: There Has Been Drastic Rise In Obesity Among Children Under 5-Years In 20 States, Reveals NFHS 5 Report

NDTV: Why do some people find it difficult to lose weight?
Tapasya Mundhra: Everybody is different, for some bodies calorie deficit doesn’t help. It can be a possibility that a person is eating way too little or is not eating the right food at a right time, has an important role to play in the weight loss journey. So, there are many factors associated when a person doesn’t lose weight.

NDTV: Foods one should have to get better immunity?
Tapasya Mundhra: One should focus on a plant-based diet in order to get better immunity. Have tulsi, amla, ginger & ashwagandha on a regular basis.

NDTV: PCOD disease and obesity – what’s the link?
Tapasya Mundhra: PCOD is a lifestyle disorder, first one needs to take care of the disease and then only you will be able to lose weight. Exercise is a must for people struggling with PCOD, get yourself a chart, cure PCOD and you will start to see weight loss happening.

NDTV: Why sugar is bad for your health?
Tapasya Mundhra: Sugar is like smoking, it is a slow poison, so one should avoid it as much as possible. We get sugar from food items like fruits, grains, milk or dairy products – so there is anyways a lot of sugar consumption happening through the day. If you have sugar cravings, have gudh, dates, prunes, swap your food items.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene






Coronavirus has spread to 195 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 22,38,41,975 and 46,16,633 have died; 18,68,50,845 are active cases and 3,23,74,497 have recovered as on September 11, 2021 at 4:05 am.


3,32,08,330 33,376Cases

3,91,516 870Active

3,23,74,497 32,198Recovered

4,42,317 308Deaths

In India, there are 3,32,08,330 confirmed cases including 4,42,317 deaths. The number of active cases is 3,91,516 and 3,23,74,497 have recovered as on September 11, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths


51,320 44


1,38,061 44


43,34,704 25,010

2,38,201 1,298

40,74,200 23,535

22,303 177


29,60,131 967

17,055 36

29,05,604 921

37,472 10

Tamil Nadu

26,30,592 1,631

16,304 83

25,79,169 1,523

35,119 25

Andhra Pradesh

20,27,650 1,608

15,119 495

19,98,561 1,107

13,970 6

Uttar Pradesh

17,09,512 9

191 8

16,86,457 16

22,864 1

West Bengal

15,55,405 753

8,219 27

15,28,633 766

18,553 14


14,38,154 36

399 16

14,12,672 52



10,15,083 745

6,451 50

10,00,548 689

8,084 6


10,04,820 23

391 5

9,90,871 28



9,54,175 7

85 3

9,45,136 4



8,25,584 21

158 8

8,15,344 13


Madhya Pradesh

7,92,311 5

130 4

7,81,664 8

10,517 1


7,70,626 12

557 27

7,60,383 39



7,25,806 12

74 2

7,16,074 10



6,61,006 220

5,351 119

6,51,763 338

3,892 1


6,00,970 30

323 3

5,84,194 25

16,453 2


5,94,347 396

6,029 178

5,82,586 569

5,732 5


3,48,055 16

142 12

3,42,780 28



3,43,187 20

319 12

3,35,479 32


Jammu And Kashmir

3,26,653 173

1,293 30

3,20,948 142

4,412 1

Himachal Pradesh

2,15,437 202

1,682 37

2,10,125 237

3,630 2


1,74,770 45

840 38

1,70,716 81

3,214 2


1,24,629 111

995 2

1,21,814 109



1,16,607 210

2,769 449

1,12,031 658

1,807 1


83,553 30

605 62

82,143 92



77,877 188

2,007 37

74,524 144

1,346 7


69,751 725

12,347 93

57,171 816

233 2


65,145 3

25 3

64,304 6


Arunachal Pradesh

53,663 59

583 23

52,811 82



30,555 45

650 9

29,271 54



30,501 57

847 11

29,277 67

377 1


20,600 4

39 1

20,354 5


Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,670 1

7 1





2 0



Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,579 2

7 0

7,443 2



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