35 Percent of Teenagers in Delhi Struggling With Obesity, Low Self-Esteem and Binge-Eating:Survey

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Obesity is one of the most pervasive, chronic diseases that is fast making inroads in the modern urban lifestyle. Obesity is a disorder, involving accumulation of excess body fat under the skin(subcutaneous) and around the organs (visceral) which increases the risk of health. According to a latest survey, 35 per cent of teenagers in Delhi are obese or overweight- the condition in teen has been known to impact their emotional wellness, confidence and self-esteem, and paves way for depression and other illness.

According to the survey titled “Juvenile Obesity” conducted over 1,000 children from Delhi, 38.5 per cent of children aged 5 to 9 years were obese, while in the 10 to 14 years age group, 40.1 per cent were overweight. In addition to physical life, obesity has also taken a  major toll on the emotional wellness and self-esteem of the children, noted the study.

As a result of obesity, 29.7 per cent children experienced a dip in “happiness level”, 28.3 per cent became “less social” and 20.2 per cent become “more irritable”.

Various lifestyle choices such as unhealthy eating habits, poor physical activity levels, less sleeping habits as well as increasing screen time, peer pressure, could be attributed the spike in the condition amongst young teens , noted the study. “They (the children) do not burn any calories after their eating late at night as they sleep after that and at the same time during the day, they are lethargic thus burning very less calories in the day,” Pradeep Chowbey, Chairman of the Department of Minimal Access, Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery at Max Healthcare, said in a statement on Friday.

“Moreover, the increasing screen time in children these days causes a lot of emotional and hormonal changes. Stress hormones and steroids production is increased in the body which in turn increases the appetite thus contributing to weight gain,” he added. About 26 per cent obese children reported experiencing bullying, while 25 per cent suffered from body shaming. The stress caused by the constant bullying and pressure may cause the teenager to resort to emotional eating or binge-eating, which further worsens the case. The survey showed that 84.7 per cent of teenagers consume junk, aerated drinks or chocolates two to three times a week.

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