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53% children in Bengaluru have unhealthy BMI: Survey

Although strict lockdowns have reduced the spread of Covid-19, it might be responsible for sedentary lifestyles, the survey organisers said
Last Updated : 10 June 2021, 23:24 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2021, 23:24 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2021, 23:24 IST
Last Updated : 10 June 2021, 23:24 IST

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Lack of physical activity during the lockdown has triggered an unhealthy Body Mass Index (BMI) in 53% out of 15,657 children chosen for an annual health survey in Bengaluru.

The survey by Sportz Village Schools showed that children across the country displayed poor fitness levels.

The national survey covered 2,54,681 children in the age group of 7 to 17 years from 364 schools spread across 250 cities and towns.

Of the children surveyed in Bengaluru, three out of five showed unhealthy upper body strength. Two out of three had unhealthy lower body strength. In terms of abdominal strength, 20% of the children were in the ‘unhealthy’ category. Two out of five children also scored poorly in flexibility.

On aerobic capacity, 3/4th of the children surveyed fell in the unhealthy range. However, in anaerobic capacity, only one out of four were categorised as unhealthy.

Although strict lockdowns have reduced the spread of Covid-19, it might be responsible for sedentary lifestyles, survey organisers said.

“This nature of lifestyle has immensely impacted children, with online classes and minimum or no physical activity, which has taken a big toll on their physical health and fitness as well as mental health.”

At the national level, the survey revealed that one out of two children does not have a healthy BMI. “The percentage of children having healthy levels of aerobic capacity and core strength during this period dropped drastically by 33 per cent and 10 per cent respectively,” the survey report observed.

BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. A high BMI can indicate high body fatness.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines categorise a normal BMI range as 18.5 to 24.9, overweight as 25 or more, and obesity as 30 or higher.

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Published 10 June 2021, 20:09 IST

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