Health Sector – UHC, National Health Policy, Family Planning, Health Insurance, etc.

Underweight and obese children: Alarm bells ring at both ends in India, Lancet study raises concern

Obese fat boy check heart by stethoscope. Tight shirt of pajamas,healthy concept


Mains Paper 2: Governance | Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

From the UPSC perspective following things are important:

Prelims Level: BMI

Mains Level: These days, Obesity is a serious health issue among children.


A new study in The Lancet

  1. The study was released on World Obesity Day on October 11
  2. The study looked at BMI (body mass index) trends in 200 countries from 1975-2016
    (a) Obese Population
  3. It has found that the number of obese girls in age group 5-19 has risen from 5 million to 50 million in 40 years
  4. And that of boys from 6 million to 74 million.
    (b) Underweight Polpulation
  5. The researchers say that if current world trends continue, “obese” will soon be more common than “underweight”

Results of the study on India

  1. India has among the largest shares of underweight children and teenagers
  2. And at the other end, it is part of a trend that has seen the number of obese under-20s worldwide rising tenfold in 10 years
  3. In India, the prevalence of obesity is between 1-2 %
  4. The prevalence of mild to severe underweight under-20s in India is 22.7% among girls and 30.7% among boys

Why is obesity increasing among children?

  1. The middle class and upper middle class in India have fewer children and tend to overfeed them under the pretext of pampering
  2. As per the Lancet study, the percentage is between 1-2 in India but these will increase as social structures are changing in India


Body Mass Index(BMI)

  1. The body mass index (BMI) or Quetelet index is a value derived from the mass (weight) and height of an individual
  2. The BMI is defined as the body mass divided by the square of the body height, and is universally expressed in units of kg/m2, resulting from mass in kilograms and height in metres

Leave a Reply

Please Login to comment
Notify of