A GP has suggested that the use of the nara can be the cause of health issues if not monitored carefully.

Dr Pervez Muzaffar, a GP was speaking at a focus group for the Baiter Sehat campaign, being run by One Voice and said he was not against the wearing of the clothes but people needed to keep track on the amount of weight they had gained.

The nara is a rope utilised to hold up the shalwar for both men and women, although an elastic can be used.

Dr Muzaffar was very concerned about increasing weight especially around the waist line, in South Asian people.

One of the interesting ideas he came up with was use of 'Nara'. He said “With a conventional belt you will know your size through which hole you knot the belt through.”

“So if you put on weight you will realise that you are using the next hole. And invariably you will eventually need to change your trousers unless you control your weight.

“With a nara you don’t have a basic measurement, there is no guideline. You can easily put on weight without realising it. And furthermore you may be oblivious to other health concerns relating to weight increase.”

“Tracksuit bottoms also have the affect of disguising weight gain – so I would advise to be careful if people are always wearing those items. Monthly waist measurement is a good way of dealing with it.

“I would also like to stress that I am not against the wearing of either shalwar kameez or tracksuit bottoms, but individuals need to be aware when they are putting on excessive weight, especially around the waist line.”

“The increasing waist to hip ratio is a harbor of CHD/diabtes etc. and we should do some thing about it before it gets out of control.”

He added, exercise could be the best way of avoiding a heart attack, controlling diabetes, weight gain, depression and other illnesses.

“CHD (coronoary heart disease) is more common in the Asian community, mainly due to the lifestyle that we lead,” said Dr. Muzaffar.

“CHD can effect individuals as young as 30, and with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high BMI and smoking – it can lead to a heart attack.”

“We should be cutting down on sugar/salt/fat and eating a lot more fruit & fibre. Also if you are experiencing any chest pains you should get them checked out by your GP”

The aim of the Baiter Sehat project is to deliver both community education initiatives and integrate information into existing health promotion activity in the BME community.