Mumbai: Due to rapid urbanization and dramatic lifestyle changes, a formidable of around 66.11 per cent of Indian children exhibit abnormally high levels of sugar in their body, a study says.

Change in eating habits and shifting more focus to indoor activities have resulted in dramatic lifestyle changes leading to chronic condition associated with abnormally high levels of sugar in children, the study conducted by SRL Diagnostics said.

The leading diagnostic chain has released a three-year long pan India data mining survey on Hba1C tests that revealed that around 66.11 per cent children possess abnormal levels of sugar in their body.

The test is done to check and monitor response to diabetes therapy and diagnose pre diabetes and diabetes in children.

Diabetes is becoming a silent epidemic and according to World Health Organization (WHO), 80 per cent of all new cases of diabetes are predicted to occur in the developing countries by 2025, it said.

In 2012, an estimated 1.5 million deaths globally were directly caused by diabetes and more than 80 per cent of diabetes deaths occur in low and middle income countries. It is also projected that diabetes will be the 7th leading cause of death in 2030, the report said.

Approximately 17 thousand samples of Indian children were screened during this period for the analysis. It was also found that a total of 51.76 per cent samples having abnormal HbAlc levels was found in male children. The analysis showed that prevalence of this abnormality was highest among children in western zone of the country. As per the zone wise analysis of the study, Western Zone had highest percentage of abnormality with 68.48 per cent while eastern and northern zone had 61.48 per cent and 64.71 per cent respectively.

Among the four zones, southern India showed the lowest percentage of abnormality with 54.95 per cent. Director - Fortis SRL Labs & SRL Strategic Initiatives Dr Leena Chatterjee says, "Diabetes has emerged as a major burden for India over the last two decades. This disease further leads to other disorders which are afflicted with children like obesity, obstructive sleep apnoea, nausea, drowsiness, weight loss, frequent urination in large amounts etc.

As they reach adulthood, the problem related to kidneys and strokes starts amalgamating. These days, even Type 2 diabetes is being easily developed in children which has been mostly common in adults."

"One of the reason is it being hard to monitor what children are eating when they are at school or when they visit friends. Children and teenagers who are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes have a short life expectancy. It is advised that those with Type 2 diabetes in their families must visit their physicians frequently and make healthy choices earlier in life," Chatterjee said.

The expert said that in order to cut out sugar, one can start by skipping it in milk, choosing non-sugary breakfasts, avoiding juice beverages, and limiting bread, pasta and rice.

The report stated it is essential that children and adolescents get themselves tested if they are overweight with body weight exceeding 120 per cent of the ideal weight or they have positive family history among first and second degree relatives and if they have signs of insulin resistance. 


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