Daal, Chawal & TV….Brit-Asians Join Obesity Debate

Food Obesity Healthy Living Eating

High fat foods, sedentary lifestyles and TV….there are many issues fueling obesity among British-Asians. Kanwal Toor compiles reactions from the British-Asian community on the obesity crisis engulfing the British population

Food Obesity Healthy Living EatingObesity is the biggest threat to women’s health and the health of future generations, warns England’s chief medical officer Dame Sally Davies. Well, I would agree with the statistics but there is an issue. And the issue is, the thin/blurred line between what today’s women perceive as being obese and what really are the facts.

A sub zero figure, bulimia and other eating disorders are on a all time high. The Kadarshians haven’t helped either – self image of perceived beauty is becoming warped by the day. Women are more eager to please then ever and fit the “fit” definition.

Having said that – lifestyle choices, crazy schedules, access to junk food -have contributed to a universe of unfit/obese individuals. Although fitness is fashion now, so is eating out. I asked a few Londoners there take on Obesity & Women and this is what they had to say:

Sheena B

Sheena Bhattessa – Actress, Hotelier

Food Packaging and manufacturers need restrictions on salt and sugar levels and unnatural ingredients. And parents’ need to teach children and be more disciplined with what they are feeding and eating. It starts at home. The way we clamped down on cigarettes by having horrid pictures on their packaging. Have horrid pictures on cakes and junk food too.

Nidhi Sharma – Entrepreneur

Nidhi Sharma - Entrepreneur, with SRK
Nidhi Sharma – Entrepreneur, with SRK

This all is definitely not going in a good direction. Things available in supermarkets are pretty unhealthy. My mum says back in her days people were eating much better.  I would think people in villages in India might have better health then us! Availability of unhealthy food is the key factor – why people are letting bad eating habits become part of their daily routines. Not looking good for sure!

Govind Shahi, Business Head – Colors TV (Europe & Americas)

Govind Shahi
Govind Shahi

It’s the ease of availability of high fat foods which is causing all the trouble. Top that with sedentary lifestyles and TV, media exposure. In addition the growing culture of eating out, lounges etc are all contributing to unhealthy lifestyles.

Sapna Sisodia – Consultant, Veventis

Sapna Sisodia – Consultant, Veventis
Sapna Sisodia – Consultant, Veventis

Asian women take lesser care of their health then western. Obviously that depends on the areas they live in the families etc. It’s important to look good from inside also. It’s actually very complex – there a lot of factors that contribute to obesity in a women. Not just bad eating habits. I do think there is a lot of awareness now though and that might be a crucial thing for women to lead healthier lifestyles.

But what is the statistic saying? Is this really alarming?? According to estimates from Public Health England, two thirds of adults and a quarter of children between two and 10 years old are overweight or obese. Obese children are more likely to become overweight adults and to suffer premature ill health and mortality, and by 2034, 70 per cent of adults are expected to be overweight or obese. And this challenge will not go away easily. On top of that, the financial implications of this crisis on NHS are huge. So, how do we stop piling on the pounds?

First, understand what causes it. Obesity is said to be a consequence of various things – genes, diet, levels of activity, environment, social and cultural factors. Second, to tackle obesity with a system wide approach. The system should address everything from production of food items, to promoting active lifestyles to wider social and cultural changes. The task is Humongous but who is suffering, if changes are not made swiftly? Women…Women & Obesity


Kanwal Toor MA Psychology

Kanwal Toor
Kanwal Toor

Former Miss India International, Mother of two & Founder/Trustee of CWC (Collective for women and children).