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Growth in IT sector has spurred growth in men's obesity

Thursday, December 25, 2008
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...Some of the common factors that have led to this epidemic are, consumption of a contemporary high-fat diet, consisting of meat, fast food, processed foods & energy dense foods. Simultaneously, industrialization and the growth of the technology sector have led to a decrease in physical activity. The stereotype way of life that has become so mechanical and sedentary has created a male couch potato generation, prompting a growth of obesity in men.

Yes of course, other risk factors like genetic predisposition, socio-cultural, economic, physiological, stress-related, and not to forget behavioral aspects have also contributed to a rise in obesity levels.

It's important to throw light on male behavioral aspect, as this factor is the only reversible factor unlike other risk factors... in the treatment of this illness.

Lifestyle changes basically constitute ones habits of smoking, drinking, dietary preferences, physical activity, stress management which all seem to be directly proportional to financial stability.  The rapid rise in disposable income for this group has led them down a path of sedentary lifestyle, right from the easy technologies available at home to the ones that drive them to their work place. Unfortunately the rise in disposable income levels has also included increased stress levels (peer/ boss pressure, longer hours), insufficient/ irregular sleep patterns.

But, the biggest factor by far is improper or unhealthy eating practices, which have directly manifested themselves into obesity.

The increased purchasing power has made life easier by putting everything at arms reach!! The smallest of gadgets like the television remote; the cell phone and the laptop have been the biggest contributors to male obesity.

These socio-economic pattern changes have brought about food preparation habits in families, which is quite evident from our food baskets and supermarket shelves now-a-days. This has led to a transition from more nutritious & conventional foods to more of refined convenience foods, including caffeine, nicotine and alcohol. Showing a significant link, between financial growth, lifestyle & behavioral patterns ultimately spurring obesity in men.

The awareness of this looming crisis needs to begin now. Families need to recognize the risk their bread earners face in the coming years.

All it takes is a return to sensible dietary habits and increased activity levels. No one is asking the men in the IT sector to run a marathon. Just a half hour walk a day, with well balanced diet at home is needed.

By. K. Saggi, Dietitian,



User Comments

05 October, 2010 | Mridula | Reply

Mridula I feel the only answer to obesity, elevated lipids, abnormal glucose etc is to have a balanced and nutritious diet, do some good physical activity where we burn around 500-600 calories a day. Diet and exercise are like hand and glove, one can't alone help in combating the above mentioned disorders.

26 September, 2010 | Mohit Garg | Reply

Mohit Garg Some companies have taken initiative to keep their employees healthy and fit by providing healthy food choices in office canteens and in built gyms and other sports facilities. This is good initiative which would benefit not only employees but employers too as chronic lifestyle diseases will eventually result in increased absenteeism and medical costs too for them. So providing these facilities would benefit both employee as well as employers.

08 June, 2010 | Sangeetha Narayana Swamy | Reply

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy Dear Prashant,

In today's fast paced life, with husband and wife both working long hours, nutritional preferences has taken a back seat. With this trend, lifestyle diseases that was seen in people who are beyond 50 years of age, are seen in young adults. Elevated lipid profile, obesity, impaired glucose tolerance are more common in the ages between 25 - 40 years. Turning to eating healthy and maintaining a regular physical activity regimen is the only answer for such lifestyle related problems.

NutritionVista's team of dietitians can help in planning a diet and exercise regimen for any individual who wants to maintain a healthy weight, eat better and keep all the lifestyle diseases at bay.

Sangeetha Narayana Swamy,
Senior Dietitian,

28 May, 2010 | Kanika | Reply

Kanika I completely agree with Kanchan that growth in IT sector has spurred growth in men's obesity too.Unfortunately, with more and more women going out to work and subsequent rise in disposable income along with long stressful working hours, this trend is not just confined to IT and just men, but catching up in other employment sectors too.

Kanika Jain

26 December, 2009 | Prashant | Reply

Prashant I was wondering if the author had me in her mind while penning down this article. hmm

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