By Shubhendu Parth
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Worried about the growing trend of obesity amongst children in the country the Ministry of Women and child Development in India is planning to soon come out with a nutrition policy.
Informing this, the country's Minister for Women and child Development Renuka Chowdhury, on Thursday, said that her Ministry is planning to hold rounds of discussions with nutritional experts, child health specialists, researchers and academicians to suggest initiatives and steps for drafting a nutrition policy for the children.
Expressing concern over recent reports about increasing obesity and lifestyle related diseases among the children, Chowdhury also informed that the Ministry was working on guidelines to be circulated among the schools and awareness campaign among the parents to check malnutrition.
She further stated that a viable strategy would be prepared for effective intervention to combat obesity among children and adolescents.
Underlining the importance of physical activities and sports for child health, Chowdhury said that her Ministry would request the Urban Development Ministry and the state governments to consider making the provision for playing space mandatory before approving any housing project.
The Minister also urged the processed food industry and fast food manufacturers to encourage whole-wheat and whole-pulp products.
She was speaking at a Colloquium on obesity in children and adolescents organised by her Ministry, to understand the prevalence, trends and factors contributing to obesity and related problems and to suggest strategy to overcome these.
The conference was attended by nearly 60 child health and nutritional experts who stressed on the need for immediate measures to check increasing trends of obesity, as these are associated with incidents of hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease and mortality during the adult life.