NEW DELHI: : The number of obese teenagers in the country has nearly doubled over the last five years, with economic growth fueling lifestyle changes including a fondness for fast food, Union Health Minister JP Nadda said on Tuesday.
Health experts said changing diets were to blame, along with an increase in sedentary activities like driving a car, watching TV and using a computer.
Mr Nadda cited the government’s fourth national family health survey – the largest exercise of its kind covering more than five lakh families — as showing 29 percent of Indian teens as obese, compared with 16 percent five years ago. He said the rise in obesity among 13 to 18-year-olds is alarming.
Rising incomes have allowed India’s middle class to grow quickly, while fueling the proliferation of Western-style fast food chains in cities and suburbs.