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Make Indian parents better aware of growth charts to prevent obesity

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 16 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5546
  1. Pankaj Vohra, senior consultant in paediatric gastroenterology, Paediatrics, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Press Enclave Marg, Saket, Delhi 110021, India
  1. pankajvohramd{at}

When parents are aware of how overweight infants are likely to develop into overweight adults they may take preventive action, writes Pankaj Vohra

Obesity is a serious multisystem disorder and to a large extent a permanent problem, especially if it develops in children before 5 years of age.1 2 So we should try to prevent it.3

About 30% of schoolchildren in urban India are overweight.4 As a paediatrician and paediatric gastroenterologist in urban India, roughly 80% of my practice caters to the middle and upper classes, which have enough disposable money for their children to eat as much as they please, of what they please, when they please. This includes a lot of junk food and sodas. Also, time spent on computers, tablets, and games consoles, not forgetting heavier textbooks and shrinking playing fields, may be responsible for the rampant childhood obesity in most cities.

Prevention of obesity starts with counselling women in pregnancy and continues through childhood using the growth chart …

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