A recent survey conducted by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham), has stated that one in every 10 school going children in the National Capital Region (NCR) is overweight. The survey covered 25 private and public schools, examining almost 3,000 children in the age group of 13 to 16 years.
"One in 10 school children is either overweight or obese which increases the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by over 35 percent," sated the report. "Such children are more likely to be diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or suffer a heart attack," it said.
The survey blamed "drastic change in lifestyle and eating habits" behind the rise in lifestyle diseases especially among the children. "The number of patients under the age of 40 have increased from 10 percent a decade ago to 35-40 percent today. Risk of developing heart diseases is highest (38 percent) in obese adults," said the survey.
It said children get around 30 percent of their daily calorie requirement in schools. So, parents need to check on what their kids eat while not at home. "About 35 percent of the parents give Rs.40-100 to their children to buy food from school canteens and around 51 percent of the children spend Rs.30-50 on pastas and noodles," it said.
According to B.K. Rao, chairman of the Assocham health committee, children should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle. "Getting rid of packaged food is a good thing to do health-wise and environmentally. The unhealthy lifestyle can increase the risk of developing heart disease in children," Rao said.