Children at Risk: Obesity is not limited to the Urban Rich of India

The average increase in BMI is 3.5 percent in which men accounts for just 2 percent increase in BMI while women for 4.3 percent

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Yogita, Harsh and Anisha are the three obese siblings with the staggering weight of 34 kgs (5.3st), 15 kgs (2.5st)and 48 Kgs (7.5st)respectively at their residence in Gujarat, India. Photography by: Tanzeel Ur Rehman/ Cover Asia Press
  • Obesity attracts cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure
  • Barker Hypothesis states that if an individual who are undernourished at time of foetal period suffers the problem in adult stage after becoming obese
  • Women between 25- 34 years of age are more prone to obesity as compared to all other ages

Obesity, commonly known as ‘Overweight’ has become a matter of concern in rural India. What’s worse? It has affected the children in particular that is not limited to the urban rich. Obesity is thought to be a disease by many but actually it is a symptom of several diseases and attracts numerous ailments like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Recent studies show that, rural India faced 8.6 fold increments in terms of obesity as compared to just 1.7 fold increment in urban India. To rate people healthy or unhealthy, BMI index is calculated. BMI index is the ratio of an individual’s height to his weight, mentions the Scroll.in report.

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An obese child in India. Image Source: Barcroft

A research by National Institute of Epidemiology in Tamil Nadu showed that young women are more prone to obesity than men. The average increase in BMI is 3.5 percent in which men accounts for just a 2 percent increase in BMI while women for 4.3 percent. Women between 25 to 34 years of age are more prone to obesity as compared to all other ages.

An obese girl in rural India. Image Source: Barcroft india

According to Scroll.in, a research in a village of Andhra Pradesh shows that 40 percent of its population is suffering from obesity while the number of underweight remains one third of the number of obese. The percentage of obese people is higher than that of prevalent in Punjab.

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Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com
Representational Image. Woman smoking. Image source: www.dailyjoint.com

One of the reasons of being obese is known as ‘thrifty phenotype’ or Barker hypothesis. It states that if an individual is undernourished at the time of foetal period, suffers the problem in adult stage after becoming obese. The other reasons that can be linked to obesity are frequent consumption of- alcohol, smoking, tobacco, sweets, food items including lots of fats, increment in the number of fast food shops, etc.

Obesity foundation of India. Image Source: obesityfoundationindia.com

To curb the problem of obesity, Government of India had come up with several campaigns to reduce weight and to aware people of its causes. One of the organization working towards it is, ‘Obesity foundation of India’ and is non profit in nature. It tries to curb influence of obesity by encouraging people to stop smoking.

Coke had recently launched ‘Live like Grandpa’ campaign. In March, it also came out with two other campaigns- ‘coming together’ which draws attention towards its low calorie drinks and ‘be Okay’, that makes people aware of the amount of calories contained in a can of Coca Cola.

-This report is compiled by a staff-writer at NewsGram.

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    Obesity does not only affect the person physically but mentally too. The person loses his/her activeness resulting in slow thinking process

  • Aparna Gupta

    Obesity is a problem affecting whole India therefore, it need to be curbed.

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