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Home > News > Report

1 in 5 children in Delhi schools obese: Study

November 02, 2007 12:51 IST

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One in every five schoolchildren in Delhi is overweight as they love binging on fast food, says a study.

The study, which was carried out in eight private schools of Delhi, by the Delhi Diabetes Research Centre, says that children start developing interest in fast food from Class 3 onwards and this pattern reaches its peak by the time a child completes Class 5.

It found that almost 44 per cent of the 1,155 children covered, have at least one soft drink everyday, and 39 per cent prefer burgers and soft drinks.

Another 31 per cent love pizzas with soft drinks. Only 11 per cent like eating fruits.

It also showed that as the children grow in years, their preference for fast food increases. It said that over 66 per cent of those interviewed in Class 5 vouched their love for fast food.

"Overweight children have 70 per cent chance of becoming obese adults. Obesity and diabetes are becoming synonyms and we are forced to call this state diabesity." the study said.

"Change in food habits plays a very important role in making children overweight. Therefore, intervention should be initiated by family members, media so that children get inclination towards healthy food habits," said the study.

The questions were framed in such a way to gauge their preferences for such food and to know how they get motivated to go for it -- whether it is due to TV, advertisements, fast food outlets or pocket money among other thins.

Agreeing with the conclusions, Ranjana Kaur, mother of an 11-year-old says, "Mainly it is TV and peer pressure. They all love the Big Mac so much that they try to extract a treat on one pretext or the other."

But Vibha Mehta, who teaches in a private school, feels that early intervention is a must to curb this habit.

"We try to encourage students not to eat junk food and they are not allowed to get such stuff in their tiffin boxes, except may be a day or two in a month," she added.