India's first obesity clinic for adolescents opens in Mumbai

The country's first obesity clinic, dedicated to treating rising cases among adolescents, was inaugurated here on Sunday.

The clinic, which has been opened at the city-based Surya Hospital, was formally inaugurated by Amruta Fadnavis, wife of Maharastra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, and comes in the wake of a recent survey in Pune and Mumbai which found that 18 per cent of school-going children suffer from obesity, 32 per cent are over-weight and 52 per cent are potential diabetics.

According to the hospital, the clinic will be one-stop solution towards obesity and metabolic diseases, and apart from counsellors, nutritionists and specialists in obesity care, will have all advanced medical procedures to treat obesity among adolescents.

"This initiative by the Surya Hospital is very appreciable for being the most complete and comprehensive centre for treatment of obesity. Obesity should be controlled during adolescence. It can happen by only increase in awareness through parents and teachers. Regional and cultural balanced diet should be encouraged," said Amruta Fadnavis, who is also Deputy Vice President of Axis Bank.

According to the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO) and the International Obesity Task Force (IOTF), 200 million school children are either overweight or obese.

Noting prevalence of childhood obesity has risen manifold in in recent years, Jayashshree Todkar, head obesity surgeon at Surya Hospital, said: "Out of total 350 children who came in OPD in the last one year, it was found that 178 students were at pre-diabetic zone."

"In such situations, it is important for us to have a proper dedicated obesity care centres for adolescents," added Todkar, who is also the director of JT Obesity Solutions.

B.S. Avasthi, founder and Managing Director of Surya Hospital, said: "In last few years, the number of children becoming obese has doubled. Moreover, being a dedicated child care multi-specialty hospital, we will be extending support by a collaboration-based engagement programme with care providers in the community."