World diabetes day: 66% Indian children have abnormal sugar levels | india | Hindustan Times
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World diabetes day: 66% Indian children have abnormal sugar levels

About 66.11% of children in India have “abnormal levels of sugar” in their body, according to a nation level survey.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2015 19:31 IST
Diabetes is a condition where the body can’t maintain the right amount of glucose in the blood. When you eat rice, it breaks down more slowly to glucose and can therefore ensure sugar is more evenly released over time, rather than all at once.
Diabetes is a condition where the body can’t maintain the right amount of glucose in the blood. When you eat rice, it breaks down more slowly to glucose and can therefore ensure sugar is more evenly released over time, rather than all at once.

About 66.11% of children in India have “abnormal levels of sugar” in their body, according to a nation level survey.

Of the 17,000 children screened over a period of three years, a total of 51.76% male children were found having abnormal HbAlc (an indicator of diabetic control) levels, with the highest prevalence among children in the western zone.

“Western Zone had highest percentage of abnormality with 68.48% while eastern and northern zone had 61.48% and 64.71%, respectively. Among the four zones, southern India showed the lowest percentage of abnormality with 54.95%,” said Leena Chatterjee, Director, Fortis SRL Labs and SRL Strategic Initiatives, which carried out the survey.

The findings of the survey, conducted between 2012-2014, were released on Friday on the occasion World Diabetes Day.

The survey checked the response to diabetes therapy and diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes in the children through HbA1c tests, said Chatterjee.

“Rapid urbanisation, change in eating habits and shifting more focus to indoor activities have resulted in dramatic lifestyle changes leading to chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar in children,” said Chatterjee.

Chatterjee asked people not to become alarmed with a diagnosis of pre-diabetes citing it is a warning sign and a chance to make changes for the better.

“We understand that it’s pretty difficult to cut out sugar completely, but one can start by skipping it in milk, choosing non-sugary breakfasts, avoiding juice beverages, and limiting bread, pasta and rice.

“It is essential that children and adolescents get themselves tested if they are overweight with body weight exceeding 120 per cent of the ideal weight or they have positive family history among first and second degree relatives and if they have signs of insulin resistance,” Chatterjee said.

According to World Health Organization, 80 per cent of all new cases of diabetes are predicted to occur in the developing countries by 2025. In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes and more than 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occur in low and middle income countries.

As per the zone wise analysis of the study, Western ZoneAs per the zone wise analysis of the study, Western Zone had highest percentage of abnormality with 68.48 per cent while eastern and northern zone had 61.48 per cent and 64.71 per cent respectively.

Among the four zones, southern India showed the lowest percentage of abnormality with 54.95 per cent.

Director - Fortis SRL Labs & SRL Strategic Initiatives Dr Leena Chatterjee says, “Diabetes has emerged as a major burden for India over the last two decades. This disease further leads to other disorders which are afflicted with children like obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea, nausea, drowsiness, weight loss, frequent urination in large amounts etc.

As they reach adulthood, the problem related to kidneys and strokes starts amalgamating. These days, even Type 2 diabetes is being easily developed in children which has been mostly common in adults.”

“One of the reason is it being hard to monitor what children are eating when they are at school or when they visit friends. Children and teenagers who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes have a short life expectancy. It is advised that those with Type 2 diabetes in their families must visit their physicians frequently and make healthy choices earlier in life,” Chatterjee said.

The expert said that in order to cut out sugar, one can start by skipping it in milk, choosing non-sugary breakfasts, avoiding juice beverages, and limiting bread, pasta and rice.

The report stated it is essential that children and adolescents get themselves tested if they are overweight with body weight exceeding 120 per cent of the ideal weight or they have positive family history among first and second degree relatives and if they have signs of insulin resistance.