That’s the view of Dr Jayshree Todkar, the organising secretary of the International Federation for the Surgery of Obesity and Metabolic Disorders, which recently held a ‘Diabesity’ summit in India featuring 700 participants from 18 countries.
In India, 25 million people are suffering from obesity, but there are not enough expert doctors to tackle the condition, said Dr Todkar.
She estimated India needed 12 to 14 experts to treat every 100,000 patients.
The event has focused on training doctors and nutritionists across the three-day conference.
“There are so many advances in the field of treatment of obesity. But there is barely any awareness about obesity as a disease. Many people, including doctors, think of obesity in a very cosmetic way. They only look at the external factors like looks which get affected due to obesity,” she said.
“Obesity and diabetes are a fatal combination. They are two sides of the same coin. Due to this combination, life is reduced by at least 10 years. It comes as a silent, chronic disease. Mostly, patients turn to doctors at a very later stage. It is an overt expression. It leads to lot of multiple organ failures. The complications of any disease including diseases like pneumonia get worse if combined with diabetes and obesity,” she added.