People consider dieting an appropriate recourse to controlling their weight to have a slim and smart outlook.
They, however, ignore the fact that it could expose them to diseases caused by weakness.
Especially women are inspired by models appearing on television screens with slim waists but physicians said that it could expose them to ailments and cause blood pressure, considered a silent killer and irreversible, though it could be controlled with a balanced diet and exercise.
Physicians, whom this correspondent talked to, said that blood pressure was bound to affect people in 90 per cent of cases and could affect human organs including kidneys, eyes and heart.
The World Hypertension League (WHL) is observing World Hypertension Day on May 15-17 with the theme of ‘healthy weight – healthy blood pressure’.
WHO estimates around one billion people hit by hypertension the world over and if situation continues, it would be 1.56 billion by 2025. How common the problem is could be gauged from study of Joint National Commission of the US.
It says that if a person is not affected by blood pressure even after attaining 55 years of age, still there are 90 per cent chances that he/she would suffer from it.
Mostly people are unaware of the problems of blood pressure unless any vital organ of their body indicates some malfunctioning. And diabetics are quite prone to it.
But, physicians said, the irony was that people were not inclined towards medication. They either dropped it halfway or simply did not take doses as advised to become more vulnerable.
Either men or women do not go for exercise or brisk walk, preferring dieting over it as easiest option to control weight and BP.
Doctors disapprove dieting as in that case people essentially lose those nutrition and proteins like vitamin C and D which could expose them to heart or kidney ailments.
They advise a balanced diet (fat free), avoiding salt, eat green vegetables, doing exercise/walk, check of weight regularly.
High BP could paralyse any part of body or cause cardiac arrest if it crosses limit. It is never constant and always varies.
The doctors described smoking as suicide for smokers are unaware of its consequences.
Pakistan Hypertension League’s vice-president and cardiologist Dr Feroze Memon said that BP happened ‘essentially’ in 90 per cent cases.
“It occurs genetically and because of bad diet habits, smoking, environmental pollution and premature births. BP affects every fourth person in 45 years of age,” he said.
He quoted a research of the Pakistan Medical Research Council (PMRC) and Aga Khan University (AKU) which found controlled rate of BP in Pakistan is pathetically three per cent, for people are not ready to take medicines.
“Price-hike is one of the reasons but you can’t compromise when it’s question of our life,” he said.
From the viewpoint of gynaecologists like Prof Dr Pushpa Srichand, hypertension is extremely harmful for expecting mothers and their babies.
Pre-eclampsia is a type of hypertension that is preventable but if not checked, it could lead to eclampsia (fists) among expecting mother, causing maternal death, she said.
She said that hypertension could result in Intrauterine Fetal Death (IUFD) i.e., effect on growth of baby and Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) that means death of baby.
In the opinion of urologist Prof Dr Shehzad Leghari’s, after diabetes, hypertension was the most common cause of kidney failure.
He said that people were required to have a balanced food because dieting could cause weakness.
“Thirty to 40 per cent patients of kidney failure are on account of hypertension,” he said.
Doctors said brisk walk could help control weight and waist. Generally people do not walk for 40 to 50 minutes.
First, it requires consistency and secondly while overall body weight drops fast, size of belly decreases after a long period and in the meantime people start to lose interest in exercise.