While 14th November is celebrated as ‘Children’s Day’ in India, interestingly, it is also the same day when ‘World Diabetes Day’ is observed around the World. The alarming rise of children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in India has triggered critical warnings in families and health organizations.
Over the last couple of decades, there has been a tectonic shift in lifestyle of families. High calorie diet, junk food, lesser physical and outdoor activities have increased waist lines of individuals, and critically among children as well. It’s a dual epidemic as obesity is on the rise and blood sugar levels are increasing. While experts have coined the word ‘Diabesity’ for prevalence of diabetes & obesity in children, the World Health Organization has described the situation as ‘exploding nightmare.’
Approximately 80,000 children under 15 years are estimated to develop type 1 diabetes annually worldwide
India is housing about 97,700 children with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) as per the research published in Indian J Endocrinol Metab, 2015
Alarming rise in children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes
66.11 percent of Indian children possessed ‘abnormal levels of sugar’ in their body as per the pan-India survey in 2015
68% urban children don’t exercise regularly
A diabetic adult suffers from various health complications that include damage to large and small blood vessels, which can lead to heart attack and stroke, and problems with the kidneys, eyes, feet and nerves. So, when a child is diagnosed with diabetes, the situation becomes precariously critical.
Symptoms of diabetes to watch out in children:
Abnormal weight gain or loss
Increase in thirst and frequency of urination
Increase in fatigue
Irritability or behavioral changes
Slow healing of wounds
Doctors have been warning about the sedentary lifestyle of children and all the various risks to health that it brings. It’s the duty of individuals, parents and caregivers to take the step forward and care for the well-being of children.
5 tips to prevent diabetes:
A well-balanced diet including whole grains, pulses, fruits and vegetables & low fat dairy products
Regular physical activity on everyday basis
Maintaining healthy weight
Regular body check ups
When Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed grave concerns over children being diagnosed with diabetes, he raised a critical alert and addressed all the families to adopt a healthy lifestyle, especially for their children.
During his radio broadcast ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 29th October 2017, PM Modi says, “Diseases that would earlier occur in old age only are now catching up with children. I get shocked to learn that children are also getting diabetic. The main reason for such diseases at such a young age is less physical activities and change in our eating habits.”
At UCMAS, we urge parents to be alert and maintain a healthy lifestyle with balanced diet and regular physical activities for themselves as well as their children. As the numbers show, the situation of diabetic children is scary. You have to take control and keep your children safe from the lifelong medical complications arising because of diabetes. Act Now