Non-communicable diseases have doubled among children: Experts
Nearly 19 percent of those screened were either overweight or obese, three times more than what was observed a few years ago.
CHENNAI: The rate of incidence of non-communicable diseases has more than doubled among children between 5-17 years of age over the past decade, an age group where there should ‘technically and historically’ not be a growing impact of lifestyle diseases.
Experts say that lifestyle diseases in children require significant awareness amongst parents and schools to ensure early intervention and create supportive environments for healthy living.
After analysing nearly 10,000 screenings across walk-ins and campus outreach at, Apollo Shine Foundation, Prediabetes was observed in 17 per cent of those screened, projecting a potentially early onset of diabetes as they step into adulthood.
Childhood obesity has seen an exponential rise and forms a major risk factor for the onset of other NCDs. Nearly 19 percent of those screened were either overweight or obese, three times more than what was observed a few years ago.
Hypertension is also among the NCDs that are now being diagnosed in as young as 7-year-olds. The data indicates its detection in roughly 6 percent of those screened. A majority of this is concentrated in those aged between 14-17 years of age, a major outcome of rising academic pressure alongside peer and social anxieties.
Commenting on these findings, Dr Indira Jayakumar, Medical Director, Apollo SHINE Foundation said, “We are witnessing a disturbing increase in everything from pre-diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome -- which can be associated with fatty liver disease and irregular lipid levels. During our screening, we encountered an over threefold increase in obesity incidence among children compared to five years ago. The need of the hour is for us to add enough systems in place that ensure timely and early detection of these conditions to ensure the long-term well-being of children.”