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Rich food leading to rise in diabetic kids

Posted on Nov 12, 06:57PM | IBNS

Lack of physical activity coupled with overeating and rising intake of high-calorie food are leading to massive growth of diabetes amid children in urban India, according to a just-concluded survey undertaken by an ASSOCHAM in wake of World Diabetes Day on November 14.

The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) under the aegis of its ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF) conducted a survey in September and October of 500 kids in the age group of 10-15 years i.e. about 50 each in 10 urban centres of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune to ascertain the prevalence of diabetes in urban Indian kids.

Over 40 per cent of children at urban centres do not exercise at all, almost half of the kids tend to indulge in binge eating and many of them are overweight or obese, majority of kids suffer from emotional distress and stay glued to their gadgets/electronics items like television, computer, laptops, tablets, ipods, video games and other portable digital media players leading to lack of physical movement, ability to concentrate and time spent with family.

The aforesaid findings were rampant in both the sexes almost equally, this is another significant highlight of the ASSOCHAM survey.

"The survey results authenticate the prevalence of diabetes in urban India as major portion of our population remains at a high risk mainly due to genetic and hereditary factors, urbanization and sedentary lifestyles," said D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the ASDF survey.

"Ever-evolving snacking trends are leading to rise in consumption of junk and packaged food items is another significant reason behind growth in number of diabetic urban kids and this is not just limited to diabetes but it can also lead to other chronic health problems of obesity, depression, high levels of blood pressure and cholesterol, hypertension and others in later stages," said Rawat.

About 200 children (40 per cent) said they do not play any outdoor games as they get tired during the school hours thus prefer sticking to their gadgets and electronic devices and interact with their friends via phone calls, SMSes and chat messengers.

While about 350 i.e. almost 70 per cent of the total respondents said they consume only junk food - burgers, french fries, deep-fried chips, other packaged food articles, candy bars, ice creams, aerated drinks and others.

Most of these food items are usually made from wheat flour (maida) and are high on fats and salt and with physical inactivity it leads to accumulation of belly fat which is directly linked to metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance and diabetes.

Some of the respondents even conceded they received poor grades in schools as they are not able to pay attention and tend to stay absent from school due to frequent health problems.

Only a handful i.e. just about 50 respondents said they have any regulations at home vis--vis eating habits and time spent on gadgets.

Some of the respondents also said they do have a family history of this ailment.