Increasing consumption of junk food, lack of physical activities to blame
statesman news service
Kolkata, 25 October
As the world observes Obesity Day tomorrow, doctors say childhood obesity has become a burning problem in the state due to high intake of junk food coupled with lack of physical activities.
“We receive around 15 to 16 child obesity cases every month. The trend is dangerous as children are getting exposed to serious diseases at an early age,” said Dr Sandip Chakroborthy, consultant Laparoscopic and Bariatric surgeon in the city. The figures will increase in the future, he says.
Studies corroborate his concern. Thirty per cent of childhood obesity leads to adult obesity and 70 per cent obese adolescents become obese adults. The longer a child remains overweight, the more likely that the obesity will persist into adulthood. A person with Body Mass Index (BMI) of over 25 is considered overweight.
Excess body weight is the sixth most important risk factor for ill health across the world.
The ill-effects of childhood obesity has began to surface. “Around two or three children every month face weight problems and suffer from diabetes which is the main cause of cardiovascular, kidney and several other complications,” said Dr Kaushik Pandit, chief consultant diabetic specialist and endocrinologist. “Increasing consumption of junk food has been ruining lives of several children and rise in individual incomes have led to frequent trips to fast food shops,” he added.
“Obesity restricts physical activities, causes pain, worry, low self esteem and depression. Most of the parents nowadays want their children to stay indoors rather than indulging in physical activities,” rued Dr Kuntal Biswas, a WHO consultant.
A National Family Health Survey of 2007 ranked the state 25th in the list of overweight people with 6.1 per cent males and 7.1 per cent females suffering from obesity. Experts in the city say the survey has little relevance today as the rise in population and urbanisation has led to rise in obese population by around 20 per cent in the past six years.