Fight obesity and regain your health with health insurance

Jan 29, 2018 | 10 months ago | Read Time: 3 minutes | By iKnowledge Team

Does obesity run in your family? A health insurance plan can help you prevent and control it.

Did you know India ranks number one in the world for its underweight population? World Health Organisation suggests that India also houses 50% of the world’s malnourished children. Yet, in a cruel and ironic twist, India now ranks third in the world in obesity as well, according to a Global Burden of Disease Study reported conducted in 2013. And the country has the second-highest number of obese children globally.

The numbers are certainly alarming. How has obesity become such a serious health problem in India? Prevailing lifestyles don’t help. Indians today have poor dietary patterns. Their food lacks in nourishment and balance. The result is either under-nutrition or over-nutrition. Besides, many Indians lead sedentary lives and engage in very little physical activity. Poor diet and lack of exercise are a bad combination. They lead to weight gain, and eventually to obesity.

Obesity is not just a physical problem either. It has links to poor mental health, a lower quality of life and an increased need for medication. If obesity runs in your family, take control of your health. A health insurance plan can help you prevent excessive weight gain. But first, let us take a closer look at obesity.

What is obesity?

Obesity is not the same as being overweight. The difference lies in the body mass index, also called the BMI. How do you calculate your BMI? Get your weight (in kilograms) and divide it by your height (in square metres). You can consult a doctor to get your accurate BMI. Or, you can calculate it yourself with the help of an online BMI calculator.

BMI categories

BMI

Category

18.5 to 24.9

Healthy weight

25 to 29.9

Overweight

30 to 39.9

Obese

40 and above

 Very Obese

What causes obesity?

Consuming more calories than your body can burn causes obesity. Long hours at work with high-stress jobs leave us with little time for physical activity. So, many people end up reaching for high-calorie food—often junk food. Such food is high on taste but low on nutrition. Children have also become victims of fast food and processed foods. Heavy school workloads keep them sitting for a long time. And their free time is spent in front of their laptop or the TV. The reduced time for playing outdoors is contributing to the spike in childhood obesity.

What are the health problems caused by obesity?

Obesity can give rise to all kinds of medical conditions. These include Type 2 diabetes, gallbladder disease and high cholesterol. It can also lead to strokes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and high blood pressure. If you are already obese, assess your health insurance needs. Getting a critical illness plan could be a smart decision. If you have any medical complications, this health plan will cover your treatment costs.

What can you do about obesity?

Go to a doctor and check for hypothyroidism

Check your thyroid levels. The doctor will start you on medication if you have hypothyroidism. Some health insurance policies also cover doctors’ fees and outpatient fees.

Make some lifestyle changes

Here are some steps you can take to reduce or prevent obesity:

  • Eat a balanced, calorie-controlled diet. Eat more of the following: vegetables, fruits, nuts, fish, and whole grains. Cut down on eating out.

Tip: Eat more homemade food prepared with less oil and less sugar. Learn about portion control and low glycemic index (GI) foods.

  • Ditch the junk food and processed foods. Go without sugary drinks as well. That includes juices, as well as all fizzy, aerated drinks. Cut down on munching on chips, burgers, and other deep-fried items.

Tip: Drink water, coconut water and buttermilk. Snack on roasted grains or yoghurt.

  • Make time for more physical activity. This could mean walking or working out 30 minutes a day. Increase the time or intensity of your workouts over time.
    Tip: Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Walk if the distance is short.

Manage your obesity with medicines

Tackle everything from your diet to illnesses caused by obesity. This way, your health insurance can be a boon for you. Many health insurance plans offer coverage for dieticians, medical doctors, and psychologists. Learn more about it at Aegon Life.

Surgical treatment

Those who are obese can go in for gastric bypass surgery as well. Your health insurance may cover these surgeries as they are not cosmetic.


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