Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi

Date: 16th November 2021

(Survey Attached)

Childhood and Adolescent Obesity – The Pandemic Impact

According to Dr. Sudhir Kalhan, Chairman, Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic & Bariatric Surgery, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, “We did a survey among 1309 Children who were forced to sit at home during recent Covid crisis from 1st October 2021 to 31st October 2021. We found shocking response as there was an approximately 10% weight gain among 60% of the respondent i.e. 785 children.”

Dr. Kalhan added, “Majority of 36.8% of the respondent reported sedentary life as major cause of weight gain where as 27.55% reported sleeping late as a triggering factor and 22.4% reported overeating as cause of weight gain factor.”

These are troubled times. All of us in these last two years have been rattled by the far reaching impact of this ongoing pandemic on our day to day life and health. Never before have we been so scared, so uncertain and so jittery. It was like a war for which we were not prepared. The war this time was not fought on the borders but happened in our homes, neighborhood and on the streets. It so blatantly exposed our health care shortcomings and our lack of focus on the medical sector. People were dying in the streets, in their cars, at home and we in the health care sector were left exasperated and helpless. Never could we have imagined that in this modern era people could die due to lack of oxygen. But it happened and we couldn’t do anything as we had not anticipated it.

The multitude of respiratory complications, the secondary infections like mucormycosis and the uncontrolled diabetes are still causing ravage in the society. We were caught unaware and the enemy hit us hard and continues to do so. While we continue to bravely fight these challenges we are failing badly and neglecting a very important section of our society. Our children, who we all forgot to care for in this whole confused state. With no schools, no physical activity, lots of uncertainty, deaths around them, abnormal sleep cycles they are now having many physical, behavioral and life style disorders which need our immediate attention and action.

India is a young country with more than 60 % population being less than 35 years. This is our strength as we have a great future. With near 8% GDP growth we seem to be rocking as a country. But what if this young population were to become diabetic, have mental disorders or become hypertensive. All the economic growth would have to be diverted towards public health spending.

Institute of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery in Association with Institute of Child health of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital carried out a simple survey to quantify the magnitude of rising obesity during this ongoing pandemic.

The results are shocking. More than 60 % of the respondents responded in the affirmative that their children had gained more than 10% of their base line weight. Most attributed it to the sedentary lifestyle along with the easy availability of fast food. Eating disorders were also due to the stress and abnormal sleep cycles.

The multi speciality mega conclave today at SGRH plans to address this looming health care challenge and together take remedial measures.

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Author: sarkarimirror