Obesity in India


  • Global Nutrition Report 2016 ranks India at 11th position in under 5 obesity and 21st position in adult obesity and overweight category.
  • India has the second highest number of obese children in the world after China, according to an study which found that 14.4 million kids in the country have excess weight.
  • The prevalence of obesity has doubled since 1980 in more than 70 countries and has increased in most other nations.
  • Lancet Report :
    • 34% of India’s population is insufficiently active.

Globally, more than 1.4 billion adults are at risk of diseases from not doing enough physical activity as around one in three women (32%) and one in four men (23%) do not do enough physical activity to stay healthy.


Reasons behind increasing obesity and overweight:

  1. Changed dietary habits : inclination towards junk and fast foods, beverage etc.
  2. Hectic life style, no fix timing for lunch and dinner, skipping breakfast sometimes leads to hidden hunger
  3. Flooding of processed food, low food standards (maggie controversy), use of pesticides and chemical preservatives also creating problem
  4. Environmental impact : increasing pollution, infusion of carcinogenic elements leading to many diseases that may lead to obesity


How child obesity can be reduced?

  1. Guidelines for Junk foods
  2. Introduction of PT period in schools 
  3. Mandatory minimum grounds size and other sports infrastructure (Strict  implementation of RTE act norms).
  4. Construction of parks and leave open spaces in colonies ( urban planning) so that children do not remain busy with indoor activity like video games, computer games.
  5. Motivate parents to play along with their child.
  6. Organisation of sport competitions at local level by municipalities, societies etc.


How adult obesity can be reduced?

  1. In tune with international yoga day, can fix yoga days in a week in offices, welfare societies etc.
  2. Swachh bharat abhiyan, cleaning of parks and other spaces so that adults can come for exercise.
  3. Adult games competition in offices.


Steps taken:

  • University Grants Commission (UGC) issued circular directing all varsities and higher education institutions to ban sale of junk food on their campuses.
  • Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) which had directed all affiliated schools to take junk food off their canteen menu. Moreover, schools were also asked to inspect lunch boxes of students, create awareness about nutritious food and regularly monitor students’ health. 


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