More than 28 percent schoolchildren in Delhi have been found to be overweight or obese with one-fourth of them at a risk of getting diabetes. Thirty schools in three cities – Delhi, Jaipur and Agra – are participating in a major intervention programme by the Diabetes Foundation of India to teach students healthy dietary and lifestyle practices to prevent diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disorders.
Under the programme, over 50,000 school children would be educated over a period of three years to understand the benefits of eating a nutritious food for a healthy life.
“We will train volunteer students and teachers to teach their classmates and students about nutrition and a healthy lifestyle,” Anoop Mishra, who is spearheading the programme told.
Selected students would also be trained to act as agents of change and spread the message to their family and peers.
“The number of obese children has increased drastically from 16 per cent in 2004 to 28 per cent in 2006,” according to a study conducted by Mishra.
“This has grave implications because such obese children are at a high risk of early heart disease and diabetes among other diseases,” he said.