Bengaluru: A countrywide study showed that 40 percent of Indian kids do not have a healthy body mass index (BMI) and warned that the current generation was heading towards an “unhealthy future”.
The study highlights how school children in the country are lagging in health and fitness parameters.
The study for the academic year 2013-14 covered 1,15,559 children in the age group of 7 to 17 years in 287 schools across 85 cities from 23 states.
A comparative study between boys and girls show that girls score lower than boys in all fitness parameters such as anaerobic capacity, flexibility, upper body strength and abdominal strength indicating that they are still short on overall fitness.
However, in case of BMI, 65 percent of girls have healthy scores when compared to 59 per cent of boys.
Children in all five regions of the country were deemed more or less equally unfit with unhealthy BMI scores of 37 per cent (Central), 54 per cent (East), 37 per cent (North), 38 per cent (South) and 36 per cent (West), said the study by EduSports, physical education and school sports enterprise.
It said that non-metros score higher than metros in terms of BMI levels and fitness parameters.
Children in non-metros demonstrated better flexibility (75 per cent in non-metros and 70 per cent in metros), had good upper body strength (64 per cent in non-metros and 61 per cent in metros) and a marginal overall BMI score (61 per cent in non-metros and 60 per cent metros).
“The lack of health and fitness among such a large number of children yet again proves that physical activity/sports in schools should be viewed as an important part of the curriculum for the overall development of a child,” Saumil Majmudar, CEO and Co-founder of EduSports, said.