Obesity has been identified as a leading cause for early death as it leads to hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, heart attacks, strokes, some kinds of cancer and adversely affecting almost all organs in the human body. Describing Obesity as a major disease, World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized that PREVENTION is the most feasible option for curbing the obesity epidemic. Parents, schools, communities, states and countries can help make the Healthy choice the Easy choice.
American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), the largest ethnic medical organization in the United States has been in the forefront for the past several years, spreading this message of healthy living. Continuing with the goal of creating awareness by educating the public and healthcare professionals, AAPI has initiated several programs and campaigns, creating awareness on Obesity and ways to prevent it. As per World Health Organisation (WHO), since 1975, the rate of obesity has tripled. People from all ages and both developed and developing countries are affected by obesity.
“Today, March 4th is being observed across the world across as the World Obesity Day, AAPI, who has been a leader in Obesity campaign, urges and want to encourage practices among people that can help them in achieving and maintaining a healthy weight,” said Dr. Sudhakart Jonnalagadda, President of AAPI. “I am grateful to the several AAPI leaders and the dozens of AAPI Chapters from across the nation for taking on this role of educating to empower, and for participating in and spreading this noble message, and creating awareness on the need for Living Well.”
Historically, AAPI has been observing January 7th, 2021 as the Global Wear Yellow Day for Obesity Awareness & Health, showcasing Yellow for Energy, Motivation, Hope, Optimism, Joy and Happiness. AAPI’s theme and campaign is: AAPI’s Workplace Wellness – BMI Day; focusing on the Seven Pillars of Lifestyle Magic NObesity Revolution – Wear Yellow. I want to stress today that it is a conscious choice by every one of us to “Be Healthy, Be Happy.” And, the “Secret to Living Longer is to Eat half, Walk double, Laugh triple and Love without measure.”
Major contributors for the success of AAPI’s obesity awareness campaign over the years include, Dr. Uma Koduri, who had organized the pilot programs for childhood obesity in USA since 2013, childhood obesity in India in 2015 and Veteran obesity in USA in 2017 with the help of Drs. Sanku Rao, Jayesh Shah, Aruna Venkatesh for childhood obesity, Vikas Khurana, Satheesh Kathula for Veteran obesity, and Janaki Srinath, Uma Chitra, Avanti Rao for childhood obesity in India.
Presently, AAPI Obesity Committee’s Chair is Dr. Uma Koduri and co-chairs are Drs. Padmaja Adusumili (Veteran obesity), Pooja Kinkabwala (Childhood obesity) and Uma Jonnalagadda (Adult obesity) with chief advisors Dr. Kishore Bellamkonda and Dr. Lokesh Edara.
“AAPI has embarked on an ambitious plan, launching Global Obesity Awareness Campaign 2021,” said Dr. Uma Koduri, Founder of NObesity Revolution, Chair of National AAPI Obesity Committee, and Founding President of AAPI Tulsa Chapter. According to Dr. Koduri, “AAPI began the *GO YELLOW* campaign on Jan 7th with the mission to educate the public on: *G – Get your BMI* (measure height, weight and calculate your BMI…ask google to calculate for you ���); and, *O*- *Own your Lifestyle. It’s up to you. No one can do it for you*. Loose weight, exercise, eat healthy – whole food, plant predominant diet. *YELLOW – energy, motivation hope, optimism, joy and happiness*.”
“I am proud to announce today that we have been successful in successful in making this a global a reality by 12-12-2020 by covering 100 cities in USA, 100 cities in India and 100 countries around the World, including on the 7th continent on Earth, the Antarctica,” Dr. Koduri, who has been in the forefront of the obesity awareness campaign for years now, explained. “What had started off in 2011 at 11-11-11-11-11-11 seconds as AAPI Health Walkathons were held in all 5 Continents – Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and North America was successfully completed in 2020 by Obesity Walkathons by Dr. Suresh Reddy in the remaining 2 Continents – South America and Antarctica,” Dr. Koduri added.
“While following in the footsteps of American Heart Association initiatives, “National Wear Red Day, on the first Friday in February,” which has become an annual campaign to raise awareness about heart disease in women, AAPI is leading a campaign to create awareness on Obesity,” said Dr. Sajani Shah, Chairwoman of AAPI BOT.
Dr. Anupama Gotimukula, President-Elect of AAPI said, “With obesity proving to be a major epidemic affecting nearly one third of the nation’s population, we have a responsibility to save future generations by decreasing childhood obesity. And therefore, we at AAPI are proud to undertake this national educational tour around the United States, impacting thousands of children and their families.”
According to Dr. Ravi Kolli, Vice President of AAPI, “AAPI has it’s chapters in almost every city and town of USA. With this extensive network around the nation, we should be able to spread the message on obesity by following the template plan. We are also exploring the use of social media and phone ‘apps’ as healthy lifestyle tools.”
“As a professional organization that represents the interests of over 100,000 physicians of Indian origin, who are practicing Medicine in the United States, one of our primary goals is to educate the public on diseases and their impact on health. The Obesity campaign by AAPI is yet another major role we have been focusing on,” said Dr. Amit Chakrabarty, Secretary of AAPI.
Dr. Satheesh Kathula, Treasurer of AAPI, said, “AAPI has taken this initiative as a “main stream” issue in both children and adults, in the US and in India. AAPI has helped organize several childhood obesity and veterans obesity programs across the US. We have the right team to take this project forward. I urge all AAPI members, their families and the members of the larger society to make a commitment today to adapt the motto: Experience the Lifestyle Magic, making this Year 2021 and beyond to be Healthy and Prosperous For You and For Every One Around You.”
“The impact and role of AAPI in influencing policy makers and the public is ever more urgent today. AAPI being the largest ethnic medical organization in USA and the second largest organized medical association after AMA, we have the power and responsibility to influence the state and the public through education for health promotion and disease prevention. Hence AAPI is trying ‘To Educate to Empower’ as ‘An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure.’ In this context, AAPI is in the process of getting Wear Yellow for Obesity Awareness Proclamation from the White House so it can be implemented nationwide. So far, we got official proclamations from Mayors from several States,” he added.
AAPI is a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American Physicians to excel in patient care, teaching and research and to pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs. For more details on AAPI’s Global Obesity Awareness Campaign, please visit: www.aapiusa.org