Why are children at risk for adult-onset diseases?

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By Dr. Narayanaswamy

May 23, 2024

Recent findings from the ICMR indicate that a significant number of children are showing early signs of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.

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This trend is not confined to overweight children; even those with normal body weight are exhibiting altered metabolic markers.

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The ICMR report highlights that 56.4 percent of India’s disease burden can be attributed to poor nutrition.

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Processed foods — often high in hidden sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium — contribute to the development of metabolic disorders.

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The hidden sugars are not always obvious on food labels and can be found in items marketed as healthy, such as flavoured yoghurts, breakfast cereals, and granola bars.

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To mitigate these risks, it is crucial to ensure that children receive a balanced diet rich in diverse nutrients.

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Essential macronutrients — proteins, fats, and carbohydrates — must be consumed in appropriate proportions.

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Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, and iron are critical for immune function, bone health, and overall development.

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