Chennai, Nov 26 (UNI) Awareness rallies were organised here to mark the World Anti-Obesity Day, today.
About 800 school students participated in a rally organised by Amma Hospital from Munroe Statue to government guest house.
The students, drawn from several schools carried placards and banners advocating the ill-effects of consuming junk food and highlighting the importance of routine exercises to prevent obesity.
City Police Commissioner G Nanchil Kumaran flagged off the rally in presence of Joint Commissioner of Police (Central) P Balasubramanian and Amma Hospital Director D Suresh.
Later, Anti-Obesity pledge was administered to the participants in the rally.
Colourful balloons containing message against obesity were also released to mark the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Suresh said about 35 per cent of Indian population were suffering from obesity, which was the root cause of heart diseases, arthiritis and diabetes.
''But what is alarming is that the obesity rate among children and students has been increasing. It is around 15 to 16 per cent and likely to go up because of eating junk foods. Moreover, students lack physical exercise as they are forced to concentrate fully on education'', he added.
Dr Suresh said it was for the first time that such a rally was organised to create an awareness on the ill effects of obesity.
A similar rally was organised by Body Focus Aesthetic Clinique in which more than 200 school children participated. Prominent drama and film personality S V Sekhar, MLA, flagged off the rally from Gandhi Statue to Vivekananda House on the Marina in the presence of State Health Secretary V K Subburaj.