Chennai, Nov 11 (UNI) Concerned over reports that about 20 per cent of Indian children were overweight or obese and increase in Type-2 diabetes among children and adolescents, a campaign on Prevention of Childhood Obesity and Diabetes was launched here today.
As part of the campaign launched by the M V Hospital for Diabetes and Diabetes Research Centre, the WHO collaborating centre in India, a manual detailing facts and guidelines on prevention of obesity for children was also released to help cultivate long-term weight control measures.
The Manual, the first ever such awareness handbook in the country, was launched by Tamil Nadu School Education Minister Thangam Thennarasu and the first copy was received by Director of School Education D Jagannathan.
Kicking off the Campaign in a symbolic representation was a Children's Poster competition on obesity titled ''My understanding of Obesity and Diabetes'' for children from over 20 schools in the city.
An exhibition of the posters brought to the fore, the current understanding of the problem among the generations of tomorrow and set the tone for the campaign objectives.
Speaking on the occasion, Hospital MD Vijay Viswanathan said the increase of obesity in children in India, especially in the urban areas was alarming.
Insisting on good food habits with nutritious diet, the manual also has guidelines on physical activity and routines that would not overstress the child but help to stay fit.
Dr Vijay appealed to the state government to support the hospital to undertake an impact study, that would form the base for understanding the need for awareness on prevention of childhood obesity and diabetes not just in the state, but in the entire country.
''We are planning to submit a Memorandum to the government in this regard and hope to launch the project soon,'' he added.