Salem, November 2020: There is a steady and alarming rise in the population affected by diabetes mellitus in India. According to the World Health Organization, by 2030 the number of people with the disease is estimated to rise to 79.4 million in our country. Compared to the rural population, the Indian urban population is at 4-6 times greater risk of diabetes. Diabetes is slowly and steadily becoming a menace among the younger generations in India too.

A rapid shift towards westernized food habits coupled with low physical activity is leading to the increasing prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) even in school children. Though the exact prevalence of childhood T2DM in India remains largely unknown, available studies report a prevalence of 12%-26% in different parts of the country.

Fast economic growth and urbanization in India are considered to be the key factors in promoting diabetes. Increase in screen time and low physical activity coupled with high-fat diets make children overweight. This ends up in obesity and making them more vulnerable to diabetes. Pre-term babies, low birth weight, family history and gestational diabetes in mothers are also considered to be important driving factors for T2DM in children.

Since diabetes is a serious life-threatening condition, it is the need of the hour to bring lifestyle changes in the Indian younger generation. Additionally, dealing with the disease is a very costly affair so prevention has some cost-cutting perks too.

Dr Sangeshwaran, Consultant-Internal Medicine, Manipal Hospitals said, Evidence suggests a rising trend of type 2 diabetes among the urban children in India due to an increase in childhood obesity, sedentary lifestyle and westernized food habits. We as parents should be responsible for our children’s food choices for their greater good. Junk foods intake has increased globally. In Children the choice of food is getting affected through promotions of junk foods on television. This is an indirect way of promoting slavery to lifestyle diseases.

He Added, T2DM can lead to complications of the heart, kidneys, liver, eyes and also the nerves in children causing permanent organ damage. Children who suffer from obesity and T2DM also have low immunity and at higher risk of infections. Promoting a healthy diet, regular physical activity and weight loss in children are the cornerstones of cutting down risk in children.Manipal Hospitals, Salem has established itself as a pioneer in the treatment of lifestyle diseases. Experienced specialists in the field of diabetes, endocrinology, paediatrics coupled with expert dietician service makes it one of the best places to help your child beat obesity and T2DM smartly.

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