BANGALORE: Obsessed to look slim and trim, majority of the teenage girls are shunning essential dietary food which is putting them at risk of anemia. Dairy products, egg, spinach, resins and vegetables anyway top the list of untouchables for young girls in their quest of attaining a perfect figure
Specialist says that lack of proper dietary habits, peer pressure to stay slim and dieting to lose weight is leading to high prevalence of iron deficiency, anemia, among children specially girls, above 15
years of age.
Even the study suggests that in urban population, nearly 40 to 45 per cent of the girls are anemic and the iron deficiency is not only found in the economically backward class but also among the upper middle class people. Anemia is more likely to develop among those who do not consume adequate amount of iron-rich food products.
Dr Gowri Kulkarni, family physician at Nation Wide Primary Healthcare Pvt Ltd, says, “Teen girls are at a higher risk for anemia since the body loses iron during menstruation and adolescent girls usually do not compensate for that loss by eating more
iron-rich foods.” “Green leafy vegetables, fruits on daily basis and regular milk intake is missing from the daily diet of these girls who during the adolescent period are at higher risk of anemia,’’ she says.
Attributing it to the excessive bleeding during menstruation, malnutrition, perfect body and peer pressure, she further says that these are the main contributory factors for anemia.
Dr Tejasvi Nataraj, consultant internal medicine, BGS Global Hospitals, echoes the same and says, all the essential nutrients required for the body are a big no among the adolescent girls who want to maintain the ‘perfect body figure’, making them prone to anemia. Besides, this nutritional disorder is very common not only in girls but among adolescent boys too.
Emphasing on proper and regular screening and routine blood test, specialists says that teenage girls should regularly be screened to detect deficiency of iron in the body to prevent any problems in the future. Anemia can always be cured with the proper diet, lifestyle modifications and counselling.