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Oct 05

Childhood Obesity – A fat lot of concern!

Those extra kilos on your child should not be ignored as baby fat. Chances of him/her falling prey to diabetes are significantly high.
With a dearth of study conducted by various survey institutions, small sample studies indicate that every fifth child in the city is at the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 19% of kids belonging to affluent families are either overweight or obese.
City doctors stress on raising a healthy child in order to cut down India’s diabetes burden. Experts cite statistics to bolster their stand. “Estimates from developed countries show that one in three children born after 2000 is most likely to develop diabetes in his/her lifetime, the cause of which is Obesity.
Different studies conducted by physiology department of King George’s Medical University also showed that about 40% kids covered in the sample were overweight while 20% were obese. Main researcher in one such study, Dr Nar Singh Verma, found that “lack of physical activity was a bigger culprit than faulty eating habits.”
His study also found that many school going children didn’t even have a sports period, while others had no playground for the kids to play. In fact, the most disheartening fact was the attitude of school organizations. They were unwilling to take responsibility of kids if they injured themselves while playing.
Faculty, medicine department, KGMU, Dr Kauser Usman said, “Studies from developed countries have shown that diabetes prevalence is riding the obesity bandwagon which is on the rise in India. We get to see at least one patient of type-2 diabetes in our OPD once a week who is in late 20s or early 30s. When we explore their way of life, the usual risk factors, like obesity, fatty diet and lack of physical activity, surface.”
Community participation is also another barrier towards prevention of diabetes in India. This means that schools, colleges and residential societies need to join hands in order to prevent this disease. Diabetes is not a single enemy; it is an array of problems which involves all organs. Moreover, this disease also eyes younger population in India and affects them in a deadlier way than in the west.
Experts believe that everyone can contribute to the cause. For example: If there is no place for cricket field, schools and residential societies may squeeze out a badminton court or put a table tennis table because they require lesser place. “Parents and elders must inculcate amongst the youth a liking for outdoor activities. For this, they will have to lead by example and manage time in such a way that they also indulge in some kind of physical activity.”

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