Close to 100 bikers, and doctors riding pillion, came together to embark on the road less travelled to raise awareness about chronic disease: obesity. Novo Nordisk collaborated with United Diabetes Forum (UDF) and Harley Owners Group to orchestrate a 90-minute ride from Bandra to Worli in Mumbai.
Vikrant Shrotriya, MD and Corporate VP, Novo Nordisk India said, “Obesity is often not considered as a disease even though it is one. Many people living with obesity may blame themselves for not being able to lose weight in a sustainable manner. We may think it is just about willpower or about eating less and exercising more. The truth is much more complex than that. Obesity is a complex chronic disease influenced by one’s environment, genes, physiology and psychology. It is important to speak about weight with openness, empathy, and shed the stigma, and encourage people to seek help from a healthcare professional.”
Dr Rajiv Kovil, Diabetologist, Dr Kovil’s Diabetes Care Centre and Secretary, United Diabetes Forum, said, “Just as in biking, where the biker’s journey can be arduous with many challenges such as bad weather, run down roads, and risk of accident, the journey with obesity is long and can be lined with numerous challenges as well including timely diagnosis, access to the right treatment advice, and medical complications. It is important to be equipped to deal with these challenges by educating oneself about the condition and understand that it is a chronic disease influenced by physiological, psychological, genetic, environmental, and socioeconomic factors. It often requires long-term medical management. It is important to speak with your doctor to get the right treatment advice.”
The World Obesity Federation’s 2023 Atlas predicts obesity prevalence is expected to affect four billion individuals worldwide by 2035. The rising prevalence is anticipated among children and adolescents with 10-20 per cent of boys and 8-18 per cent of girls being affected. In India, an estimated 135 million people live with Obesity which is almost double the number of people living with diabetes at present.
Obesity has far-ranging effects on one’s health and can lead to conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, and mental health issues like depression amongst others. If one lives with obesity, it is important to seek help from medical specialists to conduct a thorough examination and ascertain the root cause before creating an individualised treatment plan.
This ride is a prelude to the launch of UDF’s ROAD (Recognising Obesity as a Disease) study which is expected to shed light on important aspects of obesity in India.