‘Childhood obesity causing early diabetes’ – ET HealthWorld

‘Childhood obesity causing early diabetes’

Ahemdabad: On Monday, the International Paediatric Association (IPA) launched its 18-point Call to Action at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar which coincided with the inauguration of India’s first IPA Congress. Childhood obesity was a prime focus area of the conference besides issues such as vaccination and stillbirths.

The 14th point read, ‘Advocate for healthy infant and young child feeding practices and prevention of childhood obesity through the promotion of evidence-based practices and addressing the harmful effects of marketing breastmilk substitutes and harmful food and beverages.’

Dr Naveen Thacker, the incoming president of IPA, said that childhood and adolescent obesity is an increasing problem in India and much of the world.

“In low-income countries, there is a dual burden of malnutrition and obesity. So, we wind up with a combination of stunting and poor development, and then obesity due to limited access to healthier foods and promotion of sweetened drinks, salty and sugary snacks and junk food,” he said.

While the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) indicated significant rise in overweight children under five years from 2.1 per cent in 2015-16 to 3.4 per cent in 2019-21, several studies indicated steady rise in the population of obese children in India.

Dr Chetan Trivedi, president of Academy of Pediatrics, Gujarat, and organizing secretary of IPA Congress, said that the pandemic hastened the process of childhood obesity. “Lack of physical activity, undisciplined food habits and increased screen time are some of the apparent reasons for the phenomenon,” he said.

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