Continuing with the goal of creating awareness by educating the public and healthcare professionals, American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) is observing January 7, 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 around the world is to: “Be Healthy, Be Happy.” And, the “Secret to Living Longer is to Eat half, Walk double, Laugh triple and Love without measure.”
During an educational webinar on NObesity held on December 12, 2020 and led by internationally renowned healthcare leaders, Dr. Sudhakar Jonnalagadda, President of AAPI said, “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.
The interactive webinar was moderated by Dr. Uma Jonnaladadda, Chair of AAPI’s Physicians Section; Board Certified Family Medicine Secretary, GAPIO, and AAPI’s First Lady. Other moderators were: Dr. Padmaja Adusumilli, and Dr. Pooja Kinkhabwala.
The eminent speakers at the Webinar included: Muamer Dajdic, a Motivational Educator, who had struggled with obesity his whole life. He shared with the audience his own inspiriting life’s story of how weighing nearly 500 lbs, with obesity almost killing him, he lost over 300 lbs. in 1.5 years. The author of an upcoming book: The Healthy Living Process, he earned the Melting Snowman nickname & set out on a mission to help 100 000 000 people across the world overcome obesity & maintain a healthy body for life.
Dr Hira Nair, a Professor of Psychology at Kansas City Kansas Community College, the Coordinator of the Teacher Education Program, believes that education is transformative and psychology prepares students to live an introspective and collaborative life. She has recently joined efforts with AAPI to educate the local community about food addiction and anti-obesity. She works tirelessly on social justice issues within the context of the community, and around the globe. She shared with the audience, her own experiences while actively participating in building community awareness of important global issues such as hunger and the importance of educating the girl child.
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 Drs Kishore Bellamkonda and Lokesh Edara.
“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.”
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”.