Yoga teacher Ramdev has been asking followers over the years to perform exercises such as kapal bhati to get in shape and his Ayurveda arm Patanjali sells some half-a-dozen products for weight loss. Now, the yoga exponent has come up with another plan for obesity management.
Patanjali Research Foundation’s team of Ayurveda professionals has engaged 100-odd obese followers from 60 districts of 24 states. The selected participants will follow a strict diet and exercise regimen for a year and the final results will be analysed by the experts.
“We are conducting the world’s biggest study on obesity, engaging over 6,000 participants. The global studies conducted so far have engaged only 100-150 people,” Ramdev claimed in his message after launching the programme in Haridwar on Friday.
According to Patanjali, 1,000 researchers have been engaged to conduct the study. Dr Shirley Telles, heading the team, said the researchers would ensure that the participants were engaged in similar exercise and consumed the same food at the same time across locations. Patanjali claims around 250 million of the country’s people are obese.
International medical journal The Lancet, however, gives a different picture.
In a study titled “Trends in adult body mass index from 1975-2014”, the journal said India had 9.8 million overweight men and stood fifth globally (in 2014). Similarly, the number of obese Indian women (in 2014) was 20 million and it stood third after China and the US.
The obesity management market is growing as there is no check, says Dehradun-based Ayurveda expert Vaidya Balendu.
“Obesity is not a problem, tells Ayurveda. It focuses on treating reasons for the obesity. But there is a mad rush for getting into shape and businessmen are encashing this trend,” the Ayurveda practitioner said.