Fuzato given surprise Brazil call

first_img Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/ Roma goalkeeper Daniel Fuzato is given a surprise Brazil call-up, while potential Italy player Gabriel Martinelli is named in their Under-23 squad. Fuzato has yet to play any competitive games for Roma since arriving from Palmeiras in the summer of 2018, given he is third choice behind Pau Lopez and Antonio Mirante. Nonetheless, the 22-year-old joins Juventus pair Danilo and Alex Sandro, plus Milan midfielder Lucas Paqueta, in the latest Brazil squad. The shot-stopper has represented the Selecao before, picking up a solitary cap at Under-20 level. The South American champions face Nigeria on November 14 before hosting South Korea four days later. Martinelli, meanwhile, has been included in their U23 squad for a pre-Olympics tournament in Tenerife, which takes place in January. The Arsenal forward, who only turned 18 in June, was born in Brazil but has an Italian passport and CT Roberto Mancini had expressed an interest in him. Nonetheless, he will still be eligible to play for the Azzurri as the games in Tenerife are not competitive. Atalanta defender Roger Ibanez and Torino stopper Lyanco have also been summoned. Brazil squad to face Argentina and Nigeria Alisson (Liverpool), Ederson (Manchester United), Daniel Fuzato (Roma), Thiago Silva, Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain); Eder Militao (Real Madrid), Felipe (Atletico Madrid), Danilo (Juventus), Emerson (Real Betis), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Renan Lodi (Atletico Madrid); Casemiro (Real Madrid), Arthur (Barcelona), Fabinho (Liverpool), Douglas Luiz (Aston Villa), Coutinho (Bayern Munich), Lucas Paqueta (Milan); Willian (Chelsea), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), David Neres (Ajax), Roberto Firmino (Liverpool), Richarlison (Everton) Brazil Olympic squad for friendly tournament Anderson (Athletico-PR), Ivan (Ponte Preta), Phelipe (Gremio); Dodo (Shakhtar Donetsk), Guga (Atletico-MG), Ayrton Lucas (Spartak Moscou), Caio Henrique (Fluminense); Ibanez (Atalanta), Lyanco (Torino), Rodrigo (Portimonense), Walce (Sao Paulo); Bruno Guimaraes (Athletico-PR), Lucas Fernandes (Portimonense), Matheus Henrique (Gremio), Pedrinho (Corinthians), Thiago Maia (Lille), Wendel (Sporting CP); Antony (Sao Paulo), Artur (Bahia), Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal), Mateus Cunha (RB Leipzig), Paulinho (Bayer Leverkusen), Pedro (Fiorentina)last_img read more

CWG tennis, cycling venues yet to get completion certificate

first_imgWith the Commonwealth Games less than a month away, at least two stadia as well as parts of the main sports venue, Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, are yet to get completion certificates from civic authorities.However, eight venues have got occupancy certificates from Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), while the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has given the same to three venues, official sources said.The MCD is yet to grant completion certificate for R K Khanna Tennis Stadium and the cycling velodrome. While the Corporation has given the structural safety clearance for administrative block and hostel block of Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, it is yet to give the same to some other parts of the building, they said.Officials, however, maintained that the rest of the venues as well as the remaining portion of JLN Stadium will get the clearance “very soon”.”The MCD has granted completion certificates to Karni Singh Shooting Range, Thyagaraj Stadium, Chhatrasal Stadium, the indoor stadium for wrestling among others while NDMC has given clearance to Dhyan Chand Stadium, Talkatora Indoor Stadium and the Swimming Pool Complex,” a source said.Slow pace of work at various stadia for the Games has been a cause of concern for long, though the organisers have claimed that everything will fall in place in time.Home Minister P Chidambaram had earlier this week admitted that the project works were running behind schedule which led to a delay in security related tasks in the Games venues and the Games village.Security overlays in the games clusters will be completed by September 15 and thereafter the Minister will once again review the arrangements, he had said.advertisementlast_img read more

Stream of mourners pay homage to Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi

first_imgFormer Indian cricket captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi will be laid to rest at his native village of Pataudi in Haryana on Friday.Highlights:Pataudi’s funeral procession heads to burial ground from home.Thousands gather at Pataudi palace to pay their last respects.Mortal remains kept inside Pataudi palace for people to pay tribute.Police resort to lathicharge inside Pataudi Palace at Pataudi village as crowds break in to catch last glimpse of the cricket legend. Former cricketer Ajay Jadeja reaches Pataudi’s home in Delhi.Former cricketer Kapil Dev, BJP leader Arun jaitley, CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh reach Pataudi’s residence in Delhi.Congress leaders Rajiv Shukla and Sonia Gandhi’s political secretary Ahmed Patel reach Pataudi’s residence in Delhi.Cricketers and celebrities among those paying homage.Stream of mourners pay homage to Pataudi at his native village.President Pratibha Patil, Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh mourn the death of Pataudi.”I am distressed to have learnt of the demise of legendary cricketer Mansur Ali Khan. He was a dashing and daring captain, who brought a new confidence to the Indian cricket scene,” Manmohan Singh says in his message.Hamid Ansari, in his message, says: “Pataudi’s contributions to the game of cricket throughout his life as a player, captain, coach and analyst need no elaboration.”Congress president Sonia Gandhi: Void created by Pataudi’s death in sports and public arena would be difficult to fill.Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj: “I am sorry to hear about the unfortunate demise of Tiger Pataudi. My heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family.”Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley describes Pataudi as one of the greatest captains India ever produced.I&B Minister Ambika Soni calls Pataudi a “cricketing legend” and his death “an irreparable loss” to the country.Jammu & Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah: “Very sad to hear about the death of Tiger Pataudi. May Allah grant his soul eternal peace and his family strength to face this great loss.”Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit: “He was a legendary cricketer who had become captain of the Indian team at the age of 21. His contribution in taking Indian cricket to new heights will always be remembered.”Pataudi, 70, died at Delhi’s Gangaram Hospital on Thursday. His body was taken from the hospital to his Vasant Vihar residence in the city.Pataudi is survived by wife Sharmila Tagore, son Saif Ali Khan and daughters Soha and Saba Ali Khan.Pataudi played 46 Tests between 1961 and 1975 and was one of India’s greatest captains.Pataudi became captain at the age of 21.advertisementlast_img read more

Kabaddi WC begins in Bathinda today, SRK to perform at opening ceremony

first_imgThe second Kabaddi World Cup would start in Punjab town Bathinda on Tuesday. Altogether 13 teams, including the hosts India, are participating in the tournament. The other participants include teams from Argentina, Pakistan, USA, Canada, UK, Italy, Norway, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Germany and Spain. The first edition of the World Cup last year was won by India. Actor Shah Rukh Khan would perform at the opening ceremony of the championship in the evening. He would land at Bhisiana air force station near Bhatinda later in the day.last_img read more

Peter Roebuck’s inquest will take a long time: South African Police

first_imgIt will take at least a month before the circumstances of renowned cricket writer Peter Roebuck’s suicide in South Africa are revealed with a Police Services official saying that an inquest has been launched into his death.Colonel Vishnu Naidoo of the South African Police Services has revealed it will take four to six weeks for the inquest to be completed.The 55-year-old Roebuck plunged to death from his sixthfloor room in a Cape Town hotel after being reportedly questioned over sexual assault charges on Saturday night.Roebuck’s ABC radio colleague Jim Maxwell, considered one of his closest confidants, is to give a statement to Cape Town detectives but the South African police ruled out foul play in the death.The police have taken personal items from Roebuck’s hotel room, including a laptop. Naidoo said the exact chain of events leading to the death can be established only after the inquest.”An inquest can take a long time, it can be anything from six months to two or three years, but what is critical here is to get the autopsy reports, or what we call the post- mortem report,” Naidoo told The Daily Telegraph .”We will be looking at that first and that can take four to six weeks, sometimes up to eight weeks. When we get that report, we can determine officially what his cause of death was.” “There is no crime suspected as far as Mr Roebuck’s death is concerned,” he added.Naidoo said medical reports of Roebuck are awaited.advertisement”If someone dies of unnatural causes and there isn’t suspicion of a crime being committed, then we conduct an inquest.”In this time, we will undertake the normal investigation. We will take statements, we will await medical reports and that will form part of our investigation,” Naidoo said.It has been reported that Roebuck plunged to his death after jumping out of a window with police still in the room. When asked about this, Naidoo refused comment.”I have never confirmed or denied anything about that. All I have said is that Mr Roebuck is dead and that we have opened an inquest docket and I have also confirmed there is no evidence of foul play.”Asked if police had spoken to Roebuck earlier in the day, Naidoo said: “I am not at liberty to disclose that information.”On whether the police were investigating claims of sexual assault, Naidoo said: “I am not at liberty to disclose that as well. That is all, I have nothing else to say on this matter.”Meanwhile, ABC radio commentator Jim Maxwell, Roebuck’s friend also present in the same hotel, has told the Sydney Morning Herald that he saw Roebuck in a state of despair when he was called by him to help him when the police was interrogating him.”Peter was in a state of utter despair. He was sitting in a chair, near the window and I can tell you it takes five seconds to open that window,” Maxwell said. “Given his state of mind, he just had a brain snap. That is all I can assume.”New twist in the taleAccording to some reports, Roebuck may have taken the extreme step after complaint of a sexual nature had been made against him by a Facebook friend.A report in the Herald Sun , quoting a South African website, claimed that Roebuck allegedly wanted to have sex with a Facebook friend against his will.It is alleged Roebuck, 55, met a man, 26, at the hotel with plans to discuss a possible university sponsorship.”Roebuck is alleged to have tried to seduce the Facebook friend and have sex with him against his will, The New Age website said,” the Herald Sun reported on Monday.According to reports in South Africa, Roebuck was being investigated over allegations of indecently assaulting a young man. “Police had told Roebuck that a complaint of a sexual nature had been made against him by a friend he met on Facebook ,” the reports said.The newspaper also reported that Police sources said Roebuck was either going to be formally questioned in the Southern Sun Newlands Hotel on Saturday night, or arrested and taken to a station for questioning over the allegations.”Apparently police had gone to the hotel to take him to the police station to question him and then he died,” Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) spokesman Moses Dlamini was quoted by a newspaper. ICD – a body that reviews deaths that occur in police custody or as a result of police action – was also investigating the death of Roebuck.advertisementlast_img read more

‘Time’ picks ‘The Protester’ as its Person of the Year 2011

first_imgThe protester is the Time’s 2011 Person of the Year, as the magazine honoured those who stood up for common people, from India’s anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare to Tunisia’s street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire sparking the Arab Spring.The US magazine said the revolution began in Tunisia, where the dictator’s power grabbing and high living crossed a line of shamelessness, and a commonplace bit of government callousness against an ordinary citizen – a 26-year-old street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi – became the final straw.Last year, Time picked Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, whose competitors included another 21st century communications guru, WikiLeaks maestro Julian Assange.Accompanying the Time report is a photo essay of profiles of over 30 ordinary citizens who did not give up in the face of death and torture and continued to fight tyrannical regimes, corruption, inequality and injustice all over the world.Among the pictures is a close-up profile of a smiling and Gandhicap wearing Hazare and one in which he is sitting cross-legged. Its caption reads anti-corruption crusader in India. “When God wants to bring in change, he needs a vehicle of change, and I became that vehicle,” Hazare is quoted as saying.Among the other photos is that of Ahmed Harara, a Cairo dentist who was blinded by rubber bullets during clashes in January, protesters from the Occupy Wall Street movement, Egyptian protesters, leading Tunisian feminist Prof Dalenda Largueche, Greek protest dog Loukanikos as well as that of a clenched fist.Time termed as remarkable the common cause of the protests.advertisementlast_img read more

Our pick of the month: By the bay…

first_imgIf you have been craving an adrenaline rush and water sports is your idea of fun, then this one is for you. The recently launched adventure sports company called Rae Sport Academy at Girgaum Chowpatty is offering activities like kayaking, wind surfing, stand-up-paddle surfing, kite surfing and canoeing. If you’d,If you have been craving an adrenaline rush and water sports is your idea of fun, then this one is for you. The recently launched adventure sports company called Rae Sport Academy at Girgaum Chowpatty is offering activities like kayaking, wind surfing, stand-up-paddle surfing, kite surfing and canoeing.If you’d like to take your water sports proficiency up a notch, enroll in their training programmes which are spread over a period of eight to 10 days with one hour of training every day.Cost: Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,000 per course.Tel: 66256100, raesport.inlast_img read more

Fat tsunami: Urban India gets richer but faces obesity crisis

first_imgPounds And PerilsClick here to EnlargeDo you have a problem bending over to slip on your shoes? Do you need a larger waist size when shopping for trousers or jeans? Does that belt you bought last year no longer fit? If the answer to any of these is yes, you,Pounds And PerilsClick here to EnlargeDo you have a problem bending over to slip on your shoes? Do you need a larger waist size when shopping for trousers or jeans? Does that belt you bought last year no longer fit? If the answer to any of these is yes, you have a serious problem, along with millions of urban Indians.Call it the girth of a nation, but India’s collective waistline is expanding-a lot-and that is not a healthy sign. Medical researchers are acknowledging the complex physiology behind a simple truth women have held for centuries: the smaller the waist, the better (and healthier) the life.Over the last decade, a raft of new studies have shown that predicting a person’s long-term health may be as simple as taking a waist measurement. By that measurement, India’s obesity problem is fast turning into a health crisis.”If we are not careful, we will soon face a fat tsunami,” warns Dr Pradeep Chowbey, head of the Department of Minimal Access Surgery, Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi. “Till now, it was a problem of plenty for the rich nations of the world,” he points out. “Not anymore. Countries formerly focused on malnutrition are now concerned with overnutrition, including India and China.”Although obesity in the West is associated with poverty, in the developing world it is a problem for the new rich. “Fat around the waist has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, breathing problems, disability, some cancers, and higher mortality rates,” asserts Dr K.S. Reddy, head of the Department of Cardiology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi.advertisementFIGHTING FAT Ashok AnandAshok Anand, 54, Weight: was 110 Kg Retired resident of Gurgaon I loved food and ate through the day. Meals, umpteen cups of tea, namkeen, sweets, alone or with guests. My wife and children used to beg me to stop eating. Finally, I had to go for bariatric surgery. I’ve given up everything today, even pan masalas and cigarettes. “Before dinner, I would stuff myself with kebabs and tikkas to complement my peg of whisky. No longer.”Not surprisingly, a slew of activist-physicians are engaged in a battle to beat the bulge. They organise surveys, engage in awareness drives with NGOs and in schools, walk the corridors of power to sensitise the nation’s high and mighty, and alert international health bodies.”There are clear and hard facts in urban areas that things are as bad as they could be,” says Dr Anoop Misra, an obesity expert involved with antiobesity drives initiated by AIIMS. The first Asia Pacific Obesity Conclave took place in Delhi in March. Chowbey, the driving force behind the conclave, is also laparoscopic surgeon to the President of India.”I made a presentation to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam in January,” says Chowbey. What better way to start a campaign? “I’ve never seen a President with such ideal weight,” he laughs. “Dr Kalam has promised to help us out with the anti-obesity awareness drive.”The ones who really need help are finding out just what a weighty problem it is. “I’ve always loved food. Lots of food, no exercise and slowly I bloated up over time, till one day I realised I was 100 kg! Diabetes and high blood pressure came hand in hand with it. Finally, I went in for bariatric (weight reducing) surgery,” says Ashok Kumar Anand, 54, a resident of Gurgaon.More traumatic was the case with Mrs Ghose of Kolkata. She ballooned to a point that her 10-year-old son begged her not to come to his school for PTA meetings. “You can’t imagine how bitterly she cried,” says Dr Veena Aggarwal, head of R&D at VLCC Healthcare Ltd, Delhi, who treated her. “Can you imagine how it hurts to be an object of shame for your child?”35 million diabetics in India. Obesity is a major cause of diabetes. 33 per cent rise in heart disease, mostly because of obesity. 40 per cent growth recorded by the Indian fast food industry. 17 per cent of all school children in Delhi suffer from obesity. These are just two among millions of Indians who are discovering that fat is not just ugly, it is dangerous as well. The major victims of obesity are among the 300 millionstrong Indian middle class, with around 35 per cent-or 120 million-reaching dangerous levels of obesity.Last year, an AIIMS survey conducted on 35,000 people in 10 industrial cities revealed that waistlines had grown rotund by more than 30 per cent. In Delhi, 17 per cent of all schoolchildren were found to be overweight. Changes in lifestyle and affluence has led to a richer and unhealthy diet.advertisementAccording to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, meat consumption has more than doubled in India since the 1970s, so has the intake of fat and sugar since the 80s. Gandhian frugality is, obviously, passe. Contemporary changes in work, lifestyle and urban society have together adversely affected what dieticians call Body Mass Index.FUTURE FAT: A generation of latchkey kids spend their time in front of the telly, while their metabolic rates go for a tossThe obvious, almost frivolous, reason behind the emerging obesity crisis is that we are eating too much high-calorie food and not burning it off with adequate exercise. Food and the culture of eating sumptuously have always been an integral part of the Indian society, but until recently, most ate home-cooked food.Then came the Dominos, Pizza Huts and McDonald’s and a veritable race to pamper the tastebuds ensued. Fast food restaurants witnessed a dramatic growth-both in the number of outlets and customers served. Intense competition for market share led to increased portion sizes-for instance, the calorie count for French fries served by McDonald’s has jumped from 200 to over 600. In addition, the average meal comes with free add-ons like soft drinks, adding to calorie intake.What is cause for more concern among medics is that most Indians consider obesity a cosmetic problem, not a disease. The truth is, obesity is a chronic disease-of excessive fat deposition in the body. Being overweight is not a disease, but obesity is. And the line differentiating the two is quite thin. “Obesity is simply bad news-for both body and mind,” says Dr Rama Vaidya, president, All India Association for Advancing Research in Obesity, Mumbai. When a person is carrying extra weight, it’s harder to keep up with friends, take part in sports, or just walk any distance. It is also associated with breathing problems-asthma and sleep apnoea.”There can be more serious consequences as well,” points out Vaidya. Obesity can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar levels, liver disease, type 2 diabetes, heart diseases, stroke, problems with the bladder, the reproductive system and a greater risk for certain cancers.Is Weight Lying Heavy On Your Mind?Click here to EnlargeApproximately 85 per cent people globally contract the type 2 diabetes, and of these, 90 per cent are obese or overweight. India has the world’s largest population of diabetic and heart patients. Alarmingly, adolescent and childhood obesity is shooting up. “Junk food, physical inactivity, little outdoor activity and excess time spent in front of the television have led to this,” says Vaidya. Childhood fat is not only carried over into adulthood but also gives rise to severe forms of obesity. Unfortunately, most of us confuse obesity in children as ‘puppy fat’.Yet, most Indians seem ignorant of the dangers of obesity. Consider Mumbai. The snacking capital of India is famous for an array of eateries and snack bars that cater to all types of pockets and tastebuds. And a sneak peek into family food-logs reveals the reality behind the scenes. “Eating out has gone up for us over the last five years,” says Sanjay Patel, owner of Shringar Jewellers in Matunga. He doesn’t mind shelling out Rs 6,000 every month on this.Similarly, Kishore Jadhav of Aashray Developers, can’t resist those yummy snacks, and spends around Rs 100 every day while at work. “We eat a lot more junk food than we used to. The easiest thing to do is to order a pizza home,” he says.advertisementFor Lalit Jain, who owns the Real Choice gift shop in Bandra, storing up a lot of junk food at home has become the norm (“My children almost live on those”). He adds, “Eight years ago, when there were fewer places to eat out, we spent half of what we do today.”India ranks among top 10 obese nations of the world120 million urban Indians are seriously obese 50% urban women above 35 have unhealthy body shapes One out of every 10 urban Indian children is overweight 45% of males and 55% of females in Delhi are obese Other factors have contributed to the expanding middleclass waistline. Changing workforce, for one. Each year, a greater percentage of the population spends its entire workday behind a desk or computer, getting virtually no exercise. The dramatic rise in cars and two-wheelers on the roads renders it unnecessary to walk to get somewhere. Add to it the urban sprawl: obesity rates go up as the urban sprawl spreads, possibly due to reduced physical activity.In the kitchen, the microwave oven has seen sales of unhealthy frozen convenience foods skyrocket and encouraged elaborate snacking. An emerging trend, which many believe has encouraged people to step out for their main meals, is the increasing number of two-income households, where one parent no longer remains home to look after the house. This, in turn, has hiked the number of restaurants and take-away joints.Store shelves are piled high with mass-produced food items that come packed with calories. Increasing affluence itself may be a cause-even the root cause from wherein stem the above mentioned factors-since obesity tends to flourish as a disease of the moneyed class in countries that are developing and becoming westernised.Indian men appear to be especially prone to a pot belly- also called apple-shaped obesity. Blame it largely on unhealthy diets-rich in starchy foods and low in fruits and vegetables-and lack of physical activity. For women, the news is equally bad. More women, especially those over 35, are overweight than men in India. According to a study by AIIMS last year, about 55 per cent women in Delhi are overweight or obese.After the 40s, female hormones start withdrawing and the body tends to put on weight. Indian dresses hide the layers of fat so well and for so long that women don’t realise the enormity of the problem till it’s too late. Women also go through three physiological transitions- menarche (the first menstrual period), pregnancy-lactation and menopause-and, at each of these thresholds, they tend to put on weight.”Asians have more body fat. It’s not that we eat more, but we move less.” Dr K.S. Reddy, Cardiologist, AIIMS”Just consider the scenario,” says Dr Aggarwal of VLCC, “more women are stepping out into the public sphere and they do not wish to get married early. And it’s pretty common these days to come across women entering their first pregnancy when they are 30-plus.” Contraceptive pills, full of steroids and water-retentive hormones, she believes, also tend to make women fat. At the same time, there’s the additional strain of balancing work and home, with traditional support systems falling apart. “With so many pulls and pressures on them, I am not surprised that the 35-plus brigade is becoming easy victims,” she adds.”Today, it’s unfashionable to show tubby adults and chubby children in ads.” Prahlad Kakkar, Ad FilmmakerA-Z Guide For Right Fat For The BodyClick here to EnlargeEmotions can fuel obesity as well. People tend to eat more when they are upset, anxious, sad, stressed out, or even bored. Then, after they have eaten too much, they may feel bad about it and stuff themselves some more to quell those bad feelings-creating a vicious cycle. Take the case of Akila Iyer of Anna Nagar, Chennai. Slim, pretty and sporty, she had moved to Chennai from small town Kumbakonam post marriage. “My problem started during my first pregnancy,” she says, “and I became huge during the second.”Something else was happening to her, too. She was becoming home-bound and bored. “I started losing interest in myself,” Iyer muses. Food made her happy and she started binging. That created a vicious cycle of guilt. The more spicy and fried food she consumed, the more guilty she felt, and to perk herself up she would eat more. Then she crossed 90 kg and developed sugar. “My husband and my father were terribly concerned. But some people used to poke fun at me. They would not lose one opportunity to call me a tub of lard,” she adds. Finally, last November Iyer went in for a bariatric operation.”Gaining weight is like taking a loan and not being able to pay the EMI.” Dr P.K. Chowbey, Bariatric SurgeonGORGING ON THE GOOD LIFE: Eating out and eating erratic may actually lead to obesityHardly surprising then that obesity should spawn a rapidly mushrooming diet and slimming industry. VLCC, for instance, has over 100 centres across 46 cities nationwide. In the last five years, the company recorded a compounded average annual growth of 30 to 40 per cent. Not to be left behind, food and drug companies are meanwhile selling magic potions to melt away those pounds. Weight loss medicines, like Sibutrex, are very popular. Gastric bypass surgery (bariatric surgery) on patients suffering from extreme obesity has also caught on. (Ganga Ram Hospital has done 65 such operations-the highest in the country.)Obesity can run in families, but just how much is due to genes is hard to determine. Small parts of the DNA that people inherit from their parents, and that determine traits like hair or eye colour, can play a vital role in weight gain. Some genes tell our body how to metabolise food and how to use extra calories or stored fat. Then again, some people burn calories faster or slower than others because of their genes. But genes alone cannot be held responsible for an individual’s body fat as is evident in families whose members have vastly different physique. This, despite all of them eating the same food, indulging in the same habits (like snacking in front of the TV), and thinking alike when it comes to weight issues (like urging children to have a hearty dinner in order to grow “big and strong”).FIGHTING FAT Nila BagchiNila Bagchi, 51, Weight: 105 Kg Sari boutique owner, Kolkata and Santiniketan So many things are forbidden to me! But I follow health instructions to the T and there’s nothing really that I can’t do. I run my shops, look after my home, take the train to Santiniketan every week. And I can sit crosslegged on the floor for my daily puja. “It’s not easy to lead a life of constant discipline, but I just made up my mind to stay upbeat and active.”A World Health Organization (WHO) study suggests that Asians show a marked vulnerability to the effects of gaining weight. Some scientists theorise that children who are undernourished in the womb (not uncommon in much of Asia until recently) develop unusually high levels of abdominal fat as adults if they’re exposed to above-normal calorie levels. This puts them at greater risk for obesity-related illnesses.Others believe, Asians evolved a so-called ‘thrifty gene’ after living for thousands of years under near-famine conditions. That may have left them with bodies that are, paradoxically, too metabolically efficient to deal with the relative abundance of modern life. It’s a genetic trait-a survival instinct-that benefited them in the past when food was often scarce, but when food is plentiful it becomes detrimental.Simply put, the once familiar image of India as a land of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, scarcity and famine has been turned on its head. While it may have once made fat respectable, the new-liberated economic growth has clearly left more food on India’s plate than it can healthily handle.- with Aditi Pai in Mumbailast_img read more