Childhood obesity is an issue prompting increasing concern worldwide as it not only affects the emotional and psychological state of children, but has a long-term effect on people throughout their lives, Indian Ambassador Ajai Malhotra said.
The ambassador was addressing a ‘School Health Program 2009’ on ‘Childhood Obesity’, organized by the Indian Doctors Forum (IDF) at the Indian Community School for Girls in Salmiya on Thursday evening.
The IDF, in association with the Kuwait Medical Association, conducts school health programs once every two years in order to generate health awareness among students, teachers and parents in the Indian community. During the program, a team of doctors visits each and every Indian school in Kuwait on a monthly basis, offering lectures and workshops on various health-related subjects. This year, childhood obesity is the topic for the health program.
The growing number of child obesity cases today has raised the level of urgency regarding the issue and made tackling it even more critically important. It has also increased pressure on children, schools, teachers and parents to cope up with the incidence of the problem in children, the ambassador said.
For a child, the risk of becoming obese is determined by both genetic and environmental factors. But today’s sedentary lifestyle and over dependence on fast-food (junk food) heighten the risk of obesity,” the ambassador pointed out. The ambassador congratulated the IDF for its commendable initiative in launching a discussion on childhood obesity since it is an issue that snowballs once it gains a foothold the society.
Mohammad A. Al-Dahes, the general director of the Ministry of Education’s Department of Private Education, inaugurated the program by lighting the traditional lamp. In his address as the guest of honor, he lauded the IDF’s community welfare activities, including free medical camps and medical seminars for the public held in coordination with Kuwait Medical Association.
The children of today are the leaders of tomorrow,” he said. “The IDF through its school health program, help in developing the overall personality of the child. Such an activity helps in educating and creating awareness among the students on health-related issues.
On the subject of childhood obesity, he said it is “a hot topic demanding the attention of all students, parents, teachers and the authorities. Obesity results in a poor quality of life and all efforts should be exerted to fight it. My department will extend every support and cooperation in this campaign,” Al-Dahes assured.
We at the Private Education Department have supported the IDF’s school health program in the past and, Inshallah, we will continue to support such noble causes,” he said.
Ambassador Malhotra also distributed a booklet entitled ‘Childhood Obesity,’ giving the first copy to ICSK Principal (Senior Girls) Julie George. IDF President Dr. Riaz Khan presided over the launch and presented a memento to the ambassador. Dr. Abhay Patwari, IDF vice president, delivered the welcome address and Dr. K V Johnny, the chairman of ICSK’s board of trustees, delivered a speech of congratulations on the event. Dr N Nampoory, the founder president of IDF, presented a memento to Al-Dahes and Dr R Mishra, convener of the program proposed a vote of thanks.
Later, Dr. P.S.N. Menon, the head of the Armed Forces Hospital’s Paediatrics Department, delivered a PowerPoint presentation on childhood obesity.
A large number of doctors, teachers, students and parents attended the launch. Earlier, the principal, teachers and students of the ICSK accorded a traditional musical welcome, both Kuwaiti and Indian, to the dignitaries with the accompaniment of a live band. -KuwaitTimes