Obesity: Causes, Effects & Treatment

Obesity: Causes, Effects & Treatment

Learn about the causes, effects and treatment which improve or prevent the health problems associated with obesity.


Obesity is a metabolic disorder. These are a direct result of modernization combined with lack of exercise, excessive intake of sugar and incorrect lifestyle. Consequently, over-consumption of calories and low physical activity are the root cause of obesity. Obesity can cause serious health complications. Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat accumulates to such an extent that it can have an adverse effect on health, which can reduce life expectancy and or increase health problems.

In Ayurveda, Ati Sthaulya (Obesity) is described as excessive accumulation of Meda (fat/adipose tissue) and Mamsa (flesh/muscle tissue) leading to flabbiness of hips, abdomen, and breast. It is considered as one of Santarpanottha Vikaras (disease due to consumption of excessive calories) in Ayurveda. Medo Dushti (disorders of fat metabolism) may be one of the risk factors for Ischemic Heart Disease (IHD).

The Common Factors of Obesity:

Both Ayurveda and conventional system of medicine have considered obesity as multifactorial disorder. The most common factors of obesity are given below:

The Common Factors of Obesity

Health Effects of being Obese:

People who have obesity, compared to those with a normal or healthy weight, are at increased risk for many serious diseases and health conditions which are shown below:

Obesity management:

Modern treatment of obesity includes:

Diet and lifestyle changes are considered the main treatment of obesity. Diet programs can reduce weight in the short term and long term. A low carbohydrate and low fat diet is beneficial.

  • Take low carbs and high protein diet plan 
  • Do regular physical exercise
  • Take anti-obesity drugs 
  • Bariatric surgery


In Ayurveda, the treatment of obesity has been described very systematically. Various single herbs, compound yogas, exercises and lifestyle modifications are mentioned. The management of any disorder in Ayurveda is divided into 3 parts: 

  • Nidana Parivarjana (Protection from causative factors)
  • Purification (Purification therapy to remove toxins of the body)
  • Shama (Medicine therapy)

How You can Treat obesity:

1. Vyayama

Regular exercises like brisk walking, running and swimming in the morning hours for the duration of 30- 45 minutes and this duration should be extended day by day as possible.

2. Yoga

Yoga asanas and pranayama are very useful in reducing weight like Surya Namaskar, Tadasana, Paschimottanasana (pulling backwards), Bhujangasana (cobra pose), Pawanmuktasana helps reduce body fat and stay healthy.

3. Ahara (Guru, ApatarpanaAahara)

Intake of low caloric diet such as millets and highly fibrous vegetables such as cabbage may be said as ideal food for the obese; it takes longer time for its digestion.

4. Madhu (Honey)

In Ayurveda it is believed that regular intake of natural honey helps in the treatment of sthoulya (obesity) and is due to the Lekhana property found in honey.

5. Lukewarm water

According to Ayurveda, hot water acts like a natural detoxifier. Hot water is the agent that helps cleanse the impurities of the digestive system and speed up the metabolism leading to higher fat consumption and helps in weight loss.

6. Anupan

Luke warm water and honey (Madhudaka).

7. Aushadhi

Use of single/ formulations of Ayurvedic drugs as Guggulu, Guduchi, Ginger, Chitrak, Shilajita, Agnimantha, Devdaru, Musta, Kutaki, Trikatu, Triphala, Navak Guggulu, Triphala Guggulu, Arogyavardhani vati etc. are responsible for the reduction of body weight and fat. 



  • Take low-fat and low-calorie food items.
  • Take more proteins to stay longer without food.
  • Steamed/ boiled and baked vegetables rather than fried.
  • Take frequent small meals to avoid food cravings.
  • Drink skimmed milk instead of whole milk.
  • Take Healthy foods such as – oatmeal, walnuts, salads, bitter gourd (Karela), drumstick (Shigru), barley (Yava ), wheat, Green gram (Moong dal), honey (Madhu), Indian Gooseberry (Amla), pomegranate (Anar) and snake gourd etc and skimmed Buttermilk.
  • Include cabbage in daily meal. It will stop the conversion of sugars to fat.
  • Use warm water for drinking.
  • Include lemon in diet and drinks.


  • High carbohydrate vegetables like potatoes, rice etc.
  • More sweet or sweet products, more dairy products, fried and oily foods, fast food, more salt.
  • Salty or excessive salt in food.

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