Obesity in children is increasing at an alarming rate in India. India has the second highest number of obese children in the world, with 14.4 million reported cases. According to a 2018 study, somewhere between 5.74 and 8.82 per cent of school children in India are obese.
Children who are overweight or obese tend to develop medical issues like diabetes and hypertension at a very young age. Some of the health problems associated with obesity during childhood include breathing difficulties, hypertension, higher risk of fractures, menstrual and puberty disorders, and psychological effects. Childhood obesity is not related to just physical issues. It can also lead to behavioural issues, depression and even suicide in extreme cases due to ridicule by peers.
Hence, early identification and intervention is very important for the well-being of such children. One of Mumbai’s oldest hospital’s Bhatia Hospital recently started offering OPD services and consultation for childhood obesity cases. Through a team of highly skilled multi-disciplinary experts, the hospital offers consultation and treatment on nutrition and exercise. Children will have a detailed assessment by doctors and are provided with a comprehensive management plan according to their needs. The highlight of the unit is that children as well as parents will be provided consultation sessions free of cost.
Speaking about the new OPD unit, Dr. Rajeev Boudhankar, CEO-Bhatia Hospital said, “If left untreated, obese children develop various complications including cardio-vascular diseases like myocardial infarction and stroke, in their future. Obesity treatment strategies vary from child to child. Beginning treatment early is an essential part of success, and it is important to consult the right experts before beginning any treatment program. In order to provide a comprehensive health care for these children, Bhatia Hospital has formed a highly skilled team to provide consultation on the issue.”
Renowned bariatric surgeon Dr Sanjay Borude who is currently a visiting specialist and consultant at the hospital oversees the facility.