12-16% kids suffer from type 2 diabetes | delhi | Hindustan Times
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12-16% kids suffer from type 2 diabetes

Unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle changes among school-going population has resulted in them developing insulin resistant type two diabetes as early as 12 years of age. A decade ago, this was found in the 40 plus generation. In India, 12% to 16% children are suffering from type 2 diabetes.

delhi Updated: Nov 10, 2010 00:00 IST
HT Correspondent

Unhealthy eating habits and lifestyle changes among school-going population has resulted in them developing insulin resistant type two diabetes as early as 12 years of age. A decade ago, this was found in the 40 plus generation. In India, 12% to 16% children are suffering from type 2 diabetes.

A survey conducted among 10,000 students across 15 schools in Delhi and NCR region has concluded that unhealthy food brought in tiffins from home is to be blamed as much as the canteen food for the high incidence of lifestyle related and infectious diseases among school children.

According to the survey, though 90% of the children got their own tiffin from home, they would supplement it with food available in school canteen.

"Tiffins contain burgers, whitebread sandwich, pasta etc and rarely would you find brown rice or bread and fruits coming in," Dr Bhavna Burmi, senior clinical psychologist, Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, said adding, "In school canteen, children prefer burgers, chowmein, kathi roll, pizzas, chips, coke etc."

"Most girls when attain puberty suffer from polycystic ovary disease, which is associated with insulin and is a result of rapid lifestyle changes. There's so much pressure on our children, they are living in such a competitive environment that it takes its toll," said Dr SK Wangnoo, senior consultant endocrinology, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Most of the children felt extremely tired by the end of the day and could walk or jog for only 15 minutes at a stretch. In the survey, 50% of the children said they ate eggs, pulses and nuts only once a week. Water intake was restricted to five to eight glasses, with some students drinking milk only thrice in a week.

Experts admitted child health policies should include introducing effective guidelines for schools in order to bring about good nutrition and hygienic habits among school children. Developing and implementing effective guidelines for school administrators was necessary to assist them in having definite school health policies that will take into account all aspects including nutrition and physical exercise.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in association with non-profit health advocacy groups — HEAL Foundation, Vision Mission Foundation and Project Hope — has launched 'Diabetes Blue Fortnight', to be observed from the November 1-14. A Child Health Congress 2010 will also be held on November 14 to push the cause.