Kerala children prone to obesity, diabetes; Doctors to conduct awareness in schools
Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Medical Association (IMA) is planning to start an awareness campaign in schools as a study report revealing that children in Kerala are getting obese came to light. The mission will be led by the Food Safety Initiative Committee of the IMA.
IMA president Dr. M. E. Sugathan said that they intend to conduct awareness on healthy food in at least 14,000 schools joining hands with health and education departments. The awareness will be started first in government and aided schools.
The IMA has been trying to realise the ‘Healthy Food Plate’ concept of World Health Organisation (WHO) for two years. This includes spreading awareness regarding the nutrients to be included in food and their quantity. The awareness programme is part of this move.
It was found in the National Nutrition Survey that 19 percent of children aged between 5-9 years and 32 percent of children aged between 10-19 are more likely to be diabetic. One out of 10 children is prone to diabetes in national level whereas this is three out of 10 children in Kerala.
In a Body Mass Index (BMI) survey conducted in Kochi, IMA found out that 57 percent children studying in classes from 5-10 are suffering from obesity. The programme initiated in Thiruvananthapuram will be expanded to all districts shortly.
Dr. Sugathan opined that even highly educated people are not heath educated which is why they give junk foods to their children. Classes will be organised to bring awareness to the children and their parents regarding dangers of junk food culture. All 108 branches of IMA intend to conduct awareness in schools in their location at least once in a month, he stated.