Weighty jump for state
intro: The state is fatter this year, with men, women and children causing a jump in overall weights, say doctors
From: Vrushali Lad
Mumbai: Wake up before your child crosses the great obesity divide on World Obesity Day today. As per a study initiated by Mumbai and Pune-based specialist Dr Shashank Shah in four schools in Pune this year, a huge 13 per cent of students surveyed for basal weight showed a tendency towards moderate obesity.
“The findings were stunning. After a 3 ½ month Body Mass Index (BMI) study, we found that these children, who came from well known schools in Pune and from upper middle class and rich families, were doing everything wrong. They had faulty eating habits to sedentary lifestyles, which were pushing them towards obesity,” Dr Shah told The Herald.
Dr Shah, who practices at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune and Wockhardt Hospital in Mumbai, even spoke about an eight-year-old boy he operated on this year in Mumbai. “The child weighed 115 kgs and we had to operate to get his weight down to a normal 50 kgs,” he said.
Nowadays, say city doctors, schools are more interested in providing computers than playgrounds to children. Also, our kids are being pinned down to a life of little or no exercise due to tuition classes, piles of homework and a string of TV serials to watch.
Overall, there is a 25 per cent jump in numbers of obese children in the country.
And while you worry about the health of your fattening kid, the National Family Health Survey 3 (NFHS 3) has some scary news for the state’s women. Out of the 8,315 households studied in Maharashtra, for adults aged 15 to 49, 27.4 per cent urban women are obese while 24.4 per cent urban men are obese. In the rural areas, eight per cent women and 8.3 per cent men are obese.
So why are obesity levels for working adults increasing?
In Mumbai, a huge 34.6 per cent women are said to be obese, while men come a distant second at 25.1 per cent. “The rise of the IT industries and BPOs ensured that apart from longer working hours and lack of sleep, people would opt for off-the-counter junk food to save the time of packing lunches. More and more working people are having both meals out of the house, leading to more calories being consumed and no exercise to combat the spreading waistline, says Dr Shah.
On the other end of the spectrum, are men, women and children who are underweight and anaemic. As per NFHS 3, women with BMI lower than normal are 20.7 per cent in the urban areas, while their rural counterparts clock in a staggering 43 per cent. As for the men, 17.3 per cent urban men and 31.8 per cent rural men show low BMI. Of the state’s children, a huge 71.9 per cent are anaemic, while 39.7 per cent kids are underweight.