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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Obesity on rise in Pakistan

Obesity and overweight are the fifth leading risk for global deaths. Estimates by the World Health Organization (WHO) suggest that 26 percent of women and 19 percent of men in Pakistan are obese. Women are 2-3 times more likely to be obese then men. Childhood obesity is increasing at an estimate of 10 percent. It was stated by Professor Dr. Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, Director International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), Karachi University.

He delivered a lecture at the 4th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research being held at the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) on Wednesday, 9 Janary 2013. Over 350 scientists are attending the international event, which is organised by Dr Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi. It includes 35 foreign scientists from 24 countries.

Fatness in Pakistan

Dr. Iqbal said that obesity had become a serious health problem globally, as a result of an imbalance between energy intake and expenditure. The molecular cascade involves in obesity and associated disorders are not fully understood. Proliferation of adipocytes plays an important role in the onset and progression of obesity, he said. Obesity is linked to a number of serious health risks like heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and more.

Overweight and obesity are major risk factors for a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Once considered a problem only in high income countries, overweight and obesity are now on the rise in low and middle-income countries as well. Obesity and overweight are largely preventable; the intake of healthier foods, and regular physical activity are easiest ways to prevent obesity, he added.

There is an urgent need to have R&D programme in the field of anti-obesity drug discovery and development, he urged. He echoed that the fundamental causes of obesity are an increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat, salt and sugars but low in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients; and a decrease in physical activity due to the increasingly sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation and increasing urbanization.

Overweight due to Fast Food

Talking about the multi-drug-resistant pathogens, he said that a rapid decline in research and development on new antibiotics coincides with increasing frequency of infections caused by multi-drug-resistant pathogens. The key reason of bacterial resistance is the indiscriminate of suboptimal use of antibiotics.

During the first three days of the symposium, various lectures of the national and international scientists were held on different scientific issues. The event is scheduled for January 7 - 10, 2013.

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4th International Symposium-Cum-Training Course on Molecular Medicine and Drug Research

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