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Want to be smart & slim? Go out, play

With changing lifestyles, India could face a major problem of obesity among children, according to the World Health Organisation.

india Updated: May 08, 2006 11:41 IST

With changing lifestyles, India could face a major problem of increase in obesity among children, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

“The way people in urban India are living, their dietary patterns have led to an increase in overweight children,” the assistant director general of WHO, Geneva, said while giving details of the new WHO Child Growth Standards for infants and children up to five years of age.

The WHO had initiated an intensive study in 1997 to develop a new international standard for assessing the physical growth, nutritional status and motor development in all children from birth to age five.

The Indian study was carried out by a team of paediatricians from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences led by Dr Nita Bhandari. In India, the sample was drawn from 58 affluent neighbourhoods of South Delhi.

All the children had at least one parent who had received 17 or more years of education, a key factor associated with unconstrained child growth in these settings, Dr Bhandari said.

About 8,000 children from India, Brazil, Ghana, Norway, Oman and US participated in the Multicentre Growth Reference study in the community based multicountry project.