Maharashtra: 16.66% Of Children In Class 7 To 9 Obese

Maharashtra: 16.66% Of Children In Class 7 To 9 Obese

The startling figure was revealed during a health awareness campaign launched in February 2023, by state medical education department.

Swapnil MishraUpdated: Thursday, February 29, 2024, 11:20 PM IST
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More than 16.66% of children in Class 7 to 9 are obese, according to data provided by the state medical education department. The startling figure was revealed during a health awareness campaign launched in February 2023, according to officials.

As per the data, 159 children were found to be obese among the 954 students studying from Class 7 to 9 in Mumbai. However, across the state, 14,278 students were examined, of which 540 were found to be obese.

Risks of obesity

Obese children face an increased risk of developing numerous health problems, including Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol. Moreover, the adverse health effects of childhood obesity can extend into adulthood, predisposing individuals to a higher likelihood of cardiovascular diseases, metabolic disorders, and a reduced life expectancy.

“The advent of technology has brought about a sedentary revolution among Indian children. Children now spend substantial hours engaged in sedentary behaviours such as playing video games, browsing the internet, or watching television. Increased screen time and a decline in outdoor activities contribute to a lack of physical exercise, exacerbating the obesity epidemic,” a health official said.

According to the report, by 2030, India will have the prevalence of 10.81% childhood obesity among the five-nine year age group, and around 6.23% prevalence of obesity among teenagers in the 10-19 year age group.

"Obesity is the core associate for pre-mature mortality and has become the true silent pandemic. It is no longer a symptom but a disease. Around 39% of world’s adult population is over-weight and it is expected that 20% of world’s population will be classified as true obese, by 2025," a health expert said.

Evolving patterns

Traditional dietary patterns are evolving, with an increasing reliance on processed and fast foods. The convenience and allure of these readily available, often affordable options have reshaped the Indian diet, with a detrimental impact on children's health.

For example, the easy accessibility and consumption of sugary sodas and snacks laden with unhealthy fats. This shift towards high-calorie, low-nutrient diets play a significant role in the rising rates of childhood obesity.

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