Lack of physical activity coupled with consumption of high-calorie junk food are increasing diabetic cases among children, particularly in urban areas, an industry body study has said.
"Ever-evolving snacking trends are leading to a rise in consumption of junk and packaged food items resulting into significant growth in number of diabetic urban kids," Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat said.
Sedentary lifestyle is not just limited to diabetes, but it can also lead to other chronic health problems like obesity, depression, high levels of blood pressure, cholesterol and hypertension in the future, he added. Ahead of the World Diabetes Day on November 14, Assocham said it has conducted a survey covering 500 children in the age group of 10-15 years in various cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad. According to the study, over 50% of children in these cities do not exercise at all. They do not play any outdoor games as they get tired during the school hours.
Thus, prefer sticking to their gadgets and interact with their friends via phone calls, SMSes and chat messengers, it said. Besides, almost half of the kids said they tend to indulge in binge-eating and many of them are either overweight or obese, the survey added. About 70% of the total respondents said they consume only junk food - burgers, french fries, deep-fried chips, other packaged food articles, ice creams and aerated drinks, it said. "Most of these food items are usually made from wheat flour (maida) and are high on fats and salt. With physical inactivity, it leads to accumulation of belly fat which is directly linked to metabolic dysfunction, insulin resistance and diabetes," the study said.