Generation XL: Two Out of Three Kids in India Are Pre-Diabetic
India is in the midst of a dual epidemic – some experts call it ‘diabesity’.
Over the past ten years, cases of type 2 diabetes among children have increased ten times because of a huge spike in obesity. The consequence is that many of these children could potentially face irreversible damage to growth, heart, kidney and other vital organs.
The situation is so grim that a new pan-India survey finds two-thirds of Indian children in cities have abnormally high blood sugar levels, meaning they are pre-diabetic.
This is happening primarily because we are feeding our kids the food they shouldn’t be touching and encouraging them to be more sedentary. The two factors combined are a ticking time bomb.
Our children are literally eating themselves to an early death!
Happy Children’s Day, anyone?
Way Beyond Weight!
A study was conducted by Fortis Hospital’s SRL Laboratories across India for over three years, starting 2012. Over 17,000 school going children in urban cities were screened and the researchers found that 66 per cent of them had abnormal blood sugar levels.
Rapid urbanisation, change in eating habits and shifting more focus to indoor activities have resulted in dramatic lifestyle changes, leading to chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar in children.Leena Chatterjee, Director, Fortis SRL Labs and SRL Strategic Initiatives
A third of all children entering middle school are obese in urban Indian cities. Till five years back, that number was less than half.
Doctors say that children often associate hunger with mood swings. If they are feeling low, they eat an ice cream or bite into a chocolate. It is the parents’ duty to talk to their children about their feelings, they should teach them that negative feelings should not overcome by eating high-calorie food.
How Obesity Harms a Child’s Body
It’s not just type 2 diabetes, illnesses like asthma, high cholesterol, bone density loss and hypertension are on the rise among adolescents. In fact, Dr Bhansali added that in the past two days, he has put a couple of teenagers on the same chronic illness medication as their parents.
Scientists in the US conducted imaging scans on obese eight-year-olds and the results leave little room for doubt. Thickened heart muscles and increased muscle mass – a sign of strain on the heart muscle – can lead to stroke, abnormal heart rhythm, heart failure and sudden death.
Experts say that you can’t outrun a bad diet only by regular exercise. While the latter cuts down the risk of diseases – like dementia, some cancers and type 2 diabetes – it doesn’t cause weight loss, unless teamed with a strict diet.
This should be a clear message to parents of the three out of ten school going kids in urban Indian cities who are clinically obese. Unless your child eats a balanced, calorie-controlled diet, physical activities alone won’t lower the risk.
According to the World Health Organisation, in 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and more than 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occurred in developing countries like India.
Don’t let your child become a part of this statistic. Take control.
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