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Obesity – does India need more gastric band surgery?

India’s health debate may be tracking Europe and the US again. Today’s Deccan Herald reports 50 billion [sic] people suffering from morbid obesity. Even if it’s only 50 million, it’s a lot. Dr Mahendra Narwaria thinks that India needs more “centres of excellence to perform … highly technical operations” (Unsurprising maybe that Dr Narwaria runs such a centre). Sadly, the example from the US and Europe is that demand always rises faster than capacity.

As in Europe, high tech solutions are safer ground politically than penalising unhealthy foods and promoting consumption of healthy ones; taxing ghee and the fast food courts while subsiding idlis would be less glamorous but almost certainly more effective. Even persuasion may not be enough according to the British Food Ethics Council. Who is going to suggest the ban on kulfi?

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