NEW DELHI: The first-ever Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey among children and adolescents has found that diabetes is affecting children in a big way in India.
While one in 10 school-age children and adolescent in the country is a pre-diabetic, one in 100 children is a full-blown diabetic.
The survey was conducted between 2016-18 by the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and UNICEF along with the Population Council.
The report, which was released recently, shows that one per cent of school-age children and adolescents are diabetic and at least 21 per cent or more kids in West Bengal, Sikkim, Tripura and Manipur are pre-diabetic or diabetic.
“It could be due to lifestyle, genetics and poor dietary habits,” an official involved in the making of the report said. Also, three per cent of children and four per cent of adolescents had high total cholesterol.
Seven per cent of schoolchildren and adolescents were also at the risk of chronic kidney disease. Five per cent of adolescents were classified as having hypertension.
The survey also found that 35 per cent of children under five were stunted, 22 per cent of school-age children were stunted while 24 per cent of adolescents were thin for their age.
Experts said while earlier only type-1 diabetes — which occurs due to genetic reasons — was observed in children, but lately cases of type-2 diabetes are also rising significantly.
“So, on the one hand, we have a large number of undernourished children and on the other, a significant number of children are overeating or having an unhealthy diet,” said Madhukar Sagar, a diabetes expert.
At least 11.5% of kids in the 2 to 4 age group in India is overweight, a study published in The Lancet said. It projected an overall 17.5% child overweight prevalence in 2030