NEW DELHI – On World Obesity Day, experts revealed that India has the world’s second-largest obese population among children under five years of age.
Dr. J S Thakur, professor at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh, said India is facing issues of both malnutrition as well as overnutrition.
“Obesity is rising because of junk food and low physical activity. But we also have one-third population of babies born with low weight.
“In urban areas it is obesity and in slum areas, you will find the problem of undernutrition, as they are not getting adequate calories which are required, balanced diet and infection are also common in such types of areas,” he said.
He added that issues such as sanitation, water are among the multiple factors responsible for this.
The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) recently found that the number of overweight children has increased from 2.1% in 2016 to 3.4% in 2021.
Psychiatrist Pramod Soni said that it is important that children should be kept away from mobile phones, which is also one of the reasons for the increase in obesity.
The government is planning to impose a tax on foods that are high in sugar, fat, and salt to deal with the issue of rising obesity.
Government think tank Niti Aayog has concluded in a report that incidences of overweight and obesity are rising among children, teenagers, and women in India.
The share of overweight women spiked from 20.6% in 2016 to 24% in 2021, while in men the number increased from 18.9% in 2016 to 22.9% in 2021, according to the NFHS.