Is the Average Indian Body Type Behind Heart Issues, Diabetes?
Over two dozen countries all over the world have size charts specific to their average body types.
Over two dozen countries all over the world have size charts specific to their average body types. (Photo: iStockphoto)

Is the Average Indian Body Type Behind Heart Issues, Diabetes?

Soon, Indians will not have to rely on Western standards for well-fitted clothes. By 2021, National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), with backing by the Indian Ministry of Textiles, will put together a size chart specific only to Indians. For the purpose, 25,000 people in the age group of 15-65 years will be scanned using 3-D whole body scanners. This process will be completed with a whopping price tag.

Livemint quoted Sarada Muraleedharan, director general of NIFT, as saying:

The National Sizing Survey will cost nearly Rs 30 crore and entail studying a population, aged 15-65 across six cities, with men and women in equal numbers.

Too caught up to read? Listen to the story:

All races have a different genetic disposition when it comes to their bodies. For instance, Indians are most likely to have fat accumulations around their waistlines. They, however, have been forced to rely on referring roughly to its international counterparts so far.

 Indians are most likely to have fat accumulations around their waistlines.
Indians are most likely to have fat accumulations around their waistlines.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

So what’s our body type?

The most common body-types in the country are apple (a top-heavy body where the waist has bigger circumference than hips) and pear (hips have wider circumference than the waist and torso)-shapes. This puts Indians at a disadvantage in comparison to other races (Caucasians, for example, who are predominantly marked by athletic bodies) when it comes to susceptibility to problems like heart disease and diabetes.

A body which has extra weight around the waist or hips is perhaps worse than one with evenly distributed weight across the body, according to a study published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Add to it facts like diabetes’ high prevalence in the country and we are left with a disconcerting image regarding our health. The high incidence of diabetes, along with problems like hypertension, also explains the high rate of stroke and heart attacks in India, according to a Lancet study from February 2014. The study further stated that cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in India.

There are 74 million diabetic people in India.
There are 74 million diabetic people in India.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

As far as diabetes is concerned, there are 74 million people suffering from the disease in the country, stated the International Diabetes Federation 2017. It is further estimated that this number would rise to 109 million out of a population of approximately 1.5 billion people in the country by 2035.

Also Read : Start Your New Year With This Belly-Flattening Pilates Workout

Doctor’s Verdict

Dr Pramod Kumar, director, cardiology, Fortis Hospital Shalimar Bagh, affirms that India indeed has a very high incidence of diabetes, earning itself the title of the ‘diabetes capital’ of the world.

He further adds that though the excess fat around the waist isn’t the only factor, it definitely is a significant one when it comes to cardiovascular diseases.

This fat isn’t inactive fat. It’s metabolically active fat which is a forerunner of cardiovascular problems. This kind of fat is harmful to anyone across the globe. Indians just simply have a tendency to put it on.
Dr Pramod Kumar

Also Read : Tired of Belly Fat? Use These Food Items And Watch It Melt Away

If This Wasn’t Enough...

Other than leaving the body exposed to several diseases, the excess fat can also make the body non responsive to leptin or the hormone behind hunger. As a result the body never feels the need to overcome appetite and burn calories.

This fat surrounds internal organs like the liver and pancreas and causes disruption in hunger regulation.
This fat surrounds internal organs like the liver and pancreas and causes disruption in hunger regulation.
(Photo: iStock)

This scenario takes place when someone, mostly men, have a big gut which results in high levels of visceral fat. This fat surrounds internal organs like the liver and pancreas and causes disruption in hunger regulation.

The key takeaway therefore is that the battle of the bulge is perhaps one of the most crucial battles for the human body. Are you currently struggling with it? Have overcome it? Or looking for ways to do so? Share your story with us in the comments below.

(Have questions about fertility? Talk to our experts. Write to us at fit@thequint.com)

Follow our Heart section for more stories.

    Also Watch