Obesity among kids in India is on the rise with dental decay spreading as an epidemic as both are considered to be closely linked – identified by dentists
Childhood obesity has become quite a common issue in developing countries especially among the age group of 5 to 16 years. In addition to its association with some adult diseases such as high blood pressure and heart disease, it is now though to be linked with dental decay. Dentists in India have revealed that dental decay is spreading like an epidemic and has a strong link with a child being obese or overweight.
The Dental council of India has said that it would soon reach out to the Union Ministry of Health to find a solution to the problem.
“Dentists have been doing major studies on the problem and have gathered a lot of data which is in a compilation stage right now. Dental caries and obesity are closely related and the problem is spreading like epidemic. Obese kids have lesser physical activity which leads to ineffective chewing which further makes them susceptible to caries,” said DCI member Dr AK Chandna.
“In obese kids in the age group of 5-12 years, sugar intake is very high and sugar has a great potential to cause tooth decay. China has already taken action in this regard. In a bid to minimise sugar intake, the open sale of sugar has been limited in China. We are also working in this direction and would soon reach out to the health ministry for taking an appropriate step,” he added.
Dentists also pointed out during a National Dental Conference held on Friday that the oral health of Indian kids is not good. Doctors say dental diseases start early in humans and if not prevented on time, its continuous exposure to risk factors progressively worsen the overall dental condition. “Tooth decay or dental caries and obesity are two of the most prevalent health conditions affecting kids in India. Tooth decay affects almost 55 per cent and obesity around 8-10 per cent among children in our country,” said Dr Mahesh Verma, director-principal, Maulana Azad Dental College.
Dentists also called for overall oral healthcare.
“All these problems progressively result in loss of teeth and inability to perform daily activities like chewing, smiling and even affects speech. There is a direct correlation of inability to chew and nutritional deficiency which is also observed largely in the people above 60 years,” said DCI president Dibyendu Mazumdar.