SRINAGAR: The Doctors Association Kashmir (DAK) has expressed concern over the increasing number of obesity cases among children in the Kashmir valley. On World Obesity Day, Dr Nisar ul Hassan highlighted that junk food and a sedentary lifestyle are the primary factors contributing to this issue. According to the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), the percentage of obesity among children in Kashmir has increased from 2.1% in NFHS-4 (conducted in 2015-16) to 3.4% in NFHS-5 (conducted in 2019-20).

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Dr Hassan emphasized that the shift towards junk food, which has replaced homemade meals, is a major contributing factor. Children are consuming fast food like burgers, pizzas, chips, sugary drinks, and frozen ready meals. He also highlighted that television advertisements targeting children and junk food sold in school cafeterias are promoting unhealthy dietary habits. Furthermore, high dependency on smartphones has led to children leading sedentary lifestyles, which is another contributing factor.

Childhood obesity has been linked to several health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, joint problems, and liver disease. Dr Nisar stressed the need for parents to encourage their children to adopt healthy eating habits and participate in sports during leisure time to prevent obesity. Preventing obesity helps protect children’s health in the present and future.

Dr Nisar called for increased awareness and action to eliminate obesity, which is becoming a major health crisis. He also emphasized the importance of educating parents to prevent their children from becoming obese.

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