When Kiran came last in the athletics competition at school, his parents consoled him with an ice-cream. This was not new for Kiran who would get depressed easily and had low self-esteem. Since he was too over-weight to run or play, Kiran’s favourite pastime was to flip channels as he gorged on potato chips with a cheese dip, or ice creams.
His working parents found this easy as they knew that their child was in a safe environment. But what they failed to realise was that he was eating unsafe and unhealthy food, and lacked essential exercise.
With little space to either play or exercise, the city is seeing a steady growth in obese children. But it is not always a fault of the children, or even their parents.
Crammed spaces and schools with no play grounds, areas with no parks for kids to vent out their energy has turned them into couch potatoes. So much so, that the country which had 10% of obese children two years ago now has 20%.
“The World Health Organisation has listed 10 common causes of diseases in India. The second one in this list is lack of exercise. There is a need for putting stress on exercises. Children in particular are facing this issue as they have no avenue to play or exhaust their adrenaline,” said Dr H Paramesh, paediatric pulmonologist, Lakeside Hospital.