World Diabetes Day: Indian Children Increasingly Vulnerable to Diabetes

 Gurgaon, Nov, 2014: With 65 million people living with diabetes, health experts acknowledge 
that India is already facing an epidemic of diabetes. Diabetes not just complicates everyday 
living, it also puts the affected person at strong risk of complications of the heart, kidneys, brain 
and eyes.
As we struggle to find ways to contain the ramifications of this health disorder, a dangerous 
subtheme is the increasing incidence of diabetes among children in India. As we observe the 
World Diabetes Day, we need to take a closer look at the seriousness of the threat in children 
and the reasons driving the dangerous trend.
Diabetes today is one of the world’s major health disorders. Insulin is a hormone that is 
produced by the pancreas. It is important for metabolism and utilization of energy from the 
ingested nutrients - especially glucose. In type 1 diabetes, an auto-immune reaction attacks 
the cells that produce insulin resulting in very little or no insulin production. On the other hand, 
type 2 diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance in which the body fails to utilize the insulin 
produced by the pancreas. Both conditions cause the levels of glucose go erratic in the blood.
Type 2 diabetes comprises almost 90 per cent of the total diabetes incidence and is considered 
as adult-onset diabetes. Though there is no consolidated data on T2DM in children in India, 
doctors are witnessing a dangerous trend of children being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 
recent years. 
“The risk factors of diabetes are directly co-related with urban life. Lack or total absence of 
physical activity in children, who are more often glued to television sets or video games rather 
than the playing field; and food habits comprising of high fat, high energy foods that result in 
obesity, are direct socio-economic consequences or rapid urbanization that put children under 
the threat of type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Ravindra Gupta, General Physician, Columbia 
Asia Hospital.
In recent years, health surveys in countries like the United States, and UK have also indicated 
that children of Indian-origin have been reporting increasing incidence of type 2 diabetes. 
“One of the major points that we need to highlight is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented. 
Preventive measures adopted at the right time can go a long way in saving a generation 
from succumbing to diabetes and related health complications. One of the most essential 
components of healthy living is exercising. With urbanization and move to a more sedentary 
lifestyle, the need for exercise increases even more in our lives. 30 minutes of daily exercise – 
anything from running to cycling to swimming or brisk walking – can go a long way in cutting 
the risk of excessive weight gain and the onset of diabetes,” says Dr. Ravindra Gupta, 
General Physician, Columbia Asia Hospital.
Schools are the right place to inculcate a habit of daily physical training in children. Along with 
ensuring good academic credentials for children, it is equally important to put them on course 
to a healthy adult life. Exercising and daily sports should be adopted as a mandatory health 
practice in schools.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that there are more than 346 million people 
worldwide suffering from diabetes. According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India 
with 65 million diabetics was second only to China in 2013 in the number of people afflicted 
with the disorder.

(Source: Shreya,PR executive-Teamwork Public Relations )