Why India Ranks As The Third Most Obese Nation In World?

India is a country of diversified culture and tradition. It has always stood with an unique image in global platform. But recently it is standing shoulder to shoulder with nations like USA and China in terms of obesity. USA contributes 13 percent of entire obese population in the world. The statistics become 15 percent including China and India.

According to esteemed obesity surgery doctors, in the race of this illness, India is in the third position with 30 million obese population. The number of obese has increased from 857 million to 2.1 billion, which is one third of total world population, in just past three decades.

Obesity People

If we look back to a few decades ago, the term ‘obesity’ was considered as an illness only rich people can ‘afford’. The first picture that came to mind was a very chubby (and wealthy) kid engulfing highly fatty food. But today, the scenario had changed drastically. Being overweight or obese is something almost anyone can afford.

If we look closely to the socio-economic condition of our nation, we roughly have 270 million people barely surviving below the poverty line. Under such circumstances, obesity does seem like an irrelevant issues, isn’t it? Well, not according to the studies conducted, almost one in every five adults in India is either obese or overweight (proceeding gradually towards obesity).

So how does India manage to have ranks in both malnutrition and obesity? Since past several decades, the socio-economic status had improved. In truth, an individual no longer need to search very thoroughly to have high fat content food. The availability of junk food is almost everywhere. Also the individuals had developed taste for these in contrast of their traditional food.


Sometimes, it is observed that due to less income, an individual cannot afford to consume adequate fruits and vegetable; and instead, stuff their stomach with heavy (usually unhealthy) food to satisfy hunger. Also following sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy practice of smoking and drinking also acts a cushion to develop obesity among people. Moreover, intervention of modern technologies and amenities has turned people lethargic and less active.

But how do we calculate obesity in India? The most widely employed method is BMI (Body Mass Index). Ideally an individual possessing BMI more than or equal to 30 is considered as obese, but since Indian genetics is more prone to this disorder, according to several obesity surgery doctors, the range that should be consider for overweight is between 23 to 24.9 and obesity is above 25.

Measuring Obesity