Doctors say it is becoming common to see children having cholesterol levels as high as that of 50-year-olds. With high lipid and cholesterol levels, they say this generation is at the risk of developing heart ailments early in their lives.
Dr Sanjay Borude, obesity surgeon at Breach Candy Hospital said, “Children form 10% of the morbid obese cases I see and this is a big number as I only get morbid obesity cases, not moderate ones. Their lifestyle is to blame for this.”
Eating junk and spending long hours on mobiles or TV screens with no physical activity are common reasons for this rise.
“Children are allowed to indulge in junk food and not encouraged to engage in physical activities. They eat out and spend time on social networking sites, mobiles and TV instead of exercising,” said Dr Mukesh Sanklecha, consultant paediatrician, Bombay Hospital.
A study conducted in Netherlands in July on child obesity showed that two out of three obese children had at least one cardiovascular risk factor. “Hypertension and abnormal lipids in children may lead to cardiovascular diseases at a young age,” said Dr Sudhir Pillai, consultant cardiologist at PD Hinduja Hospital.
He added that this study corroborated with the 2010 American research, which showed that obese kids with high cholesterol have the heart artery thickness of a 45-year-old. He also said that a Mumbai study had shown that 30 per cent of children in private schools and 10% in public school are obese.
“Children learn from their elders. This makes it even more necessary that parents follow a healthy lifestyle,” Dr Sanklecha said.