Over 21% of kids Bengaluru schools are overweight

Over 21% of kids Bengaluru schools are overweight

Doctors have attributed this trend to lack of balanced diet and less or no physical activity.

Increased consumption of junk food coupled with lack of exercise has resulted in about 21.7 % of schoolchildren being either obese or overweight, observed a study conducted on 83,000 children from 145 schools across the city.

Doctors have attributed this trend to lack of balanced diet and less or no physical activity.

Bangalore Comprehensive Child Health Alliance (BaCCHA) formed by Rainbow Hospitals and AddressHealth conducted the study on children in the age group from four years to 17 years from January to October 2018.

The study also found about 7.5% of children were undernourished, and 3.4% have clinical signs of anaemia.

“Obese and overweight are two different categories. The study was conducted based on the body mass index (BMI) of the child. The undernourished children had a very low BMI, food pattern and nourishment at childbirth could be the reason for the malnourishment,” said Dr Anand Lakshman, CEO and public health expert, AddressHealth.

The study also said about 15.2% of schoolchildren have problems in their vision and 30% of them have dental caries.

Dr Anand said the children in urban areas have more refractory errors than children from rural areas.

Explaining the reasons, he said the children in the cities watch more television and have access to mobile phones which affect the eyes.

About dental cavities, the public health expert said there was a misconception that as the milk teeth will fall, there is no need to care for them. However, children with cavities cannot eat hard food like fruits and also avoid eating them, Dr Anand said.

Speech defects develop due to caries in teeth, which in the long run causes loss of confidence in children, Dr Anand added.

The study also showed that about 14% of children are at risk of lifestyle diseases, including Type II diabetes. About 0.7% of children had enlarged thyroid.

Applications invited

Schools across Bengaluru are invited to send applications for the Rainbow Address School Health awards. The school which has the highest health promotion standards including health check of students, physical activity, good nutrition, prevention of substance abuse, tobacco and alcohol use, will be awarded.

Interested schools can download the application form from www.schoolhealthawards.com, and submit it before December 22. Awards will be announced at an event on January 17 at The Lalit Ashok.