Key findings of the study:
· 3 out of 4 people in Mumbai with belly fat are at heart risk
· 76% of Mumbai residents under 45 who have belly fat are at heart risk
· 8 out of 10 working professionals in Mumbai with belly fat are at heart risk
· 79% people with belly fat in Mumbai don’t consider belly fat amongst the top 3 reasons for heart risk
· 70% Mumbaikars who are at heart risk due to belly fat skip breakfast at least once a week
· 92% Mumbaikars who have belly fat eat outside food at least once a week
· 61% Mumbaikars who are at heart risk due to belly fat do not get sound sleep
This World Heart Day, Saffolalife releases their flagship study to raise awareness of heart health in India. The key finding that emerges from the study is that belly fat has an impact on heart health. The Saffolalife Study 2018 reveals that 77% of Mumbaikars with belly fat are at heart risk. The study also highlights the factors common to those with belly fat and the resultant impact on heart health.
With growing lifestyle challenges, people in India are now at risk of heart diseases at a much younger age. Some of the major reasons are long working hours, job stress, irregular meals, sleep deprivation and sedentary routine. This is leading to an increase in lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular problems, obesity and diabetes.
While BMI is the most researched measure of generalized obesity, the distribution of fat or central obesity, commonly called belly fat, is a far more important factor for cardiovascular risk. When it comes to belly fat, there is a lack of awareness amongst people as they address it only for cosmetic reasons and not because it is detrimental to heart health. So to create greater awareness regarding this issue, Saffolalife Study 2018 addresses the “Impact of Belly Fat on Heart Health”. One of the key takeaways from this survey is that one may be at heart risk even if they have a lean body but have a paunch.
Saffolalife and Nielsen conducted a pan India survey amongst those who have belly fat to understand the extent of heart risk. This study covered 837 respondents across key cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Lucknow and Hyderabad. Some of the startling facts from the study revolve around age, gender and lifestyle implications on heart health due to belly fat.
In Mumbai, while 77% people with belly fat are at heart risk, still 79% of Mumbaikars do not consider belly fat among the top 3 reasons for heart risk. Eating habits which are common among Mumbaikars with belly fat are eating outside of home at least once a week (92%), junk food consumption (83%) and eating a heavy dinner (59%). Lifestyle habits which are common among Mumbaikars with belly fat are not getting sound sleep (61%), long working hours (62%) and not exercising regularly (55%). 70% of those who do not exercise regularly, state lack of time as the key reason for the same.
Commenting on the findings of the study, Dr. Shashank Joshi (Endocrinologist, Padma Shree Awardee) said, “The study states that 67% of Indians with belly fat are at heart risk and thus this World Heart Day, we request every individual to become aware that they too can be at heart risk if they have belly fat. What is also revealed is that even if you have a BMI within the normal range and have belly fat, you may be at heart risk. It is important to be aware of this correlation so that you can take proactive steps towards heart health.”
Renowned Cardiologist Dr. C.K Ponde (Senior Consultant Cardiologist), P.D. Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre said, “Saffolalife has been consistently raising awareness about pertinent issues related to Indians’ heart health. This year’s key finding of the impact of abdominal fat on heart risk is especially critical for Mumbaikars, who at 77%, are at the highest risk among the four cities surveyed. With this knowledge, I urge Mumbaikars to take active steps towards taking care of their heart health.”
On leading a heart healthy lifestyle, Nutritionist Pooja Makhija said, “This World Heart Day, the Saffolalife study shows a strong correlation between belly fat and heart health risk, hence managing belly fat is critical. Therefore, I urge every individual to start making small but significant changes in their lifestyle so that they can address the belly fat issue. This is easily done by eating right, avoiding junk food, exercising regularly, sleeping well and reducing stress. Start looking after your heart, eat high-fibre foods, go for a walk and get the sleep your body needs.”
In today’s age, hectic work schedules and sedentary lifestyles are affecting the heart health of Indians. While there are multiple causes behind the increase in belly fat, it is important to be aware of the possible implications, including its impact on heart risk, and make lifestyle changes to be more heart healthy.
Saffolalife ™ is a not-for-profit initiative, started more than a decade ago, working towards driving awareness on heart health in India. Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) have been on a rise in India and Saffolalife’s mission is to reduce the CVD statistics to make India heart healthy. Over the past decade, Saffolalife has driven many endeavours and conducted many large scale research studies to drive awareness and education on the early markers of heart health. The Saffolalife initiative addresses heart health and nutrition aspects of preventive healthcare and seeks to impart accurate, credible and expert-led information.