Education

Drive against lifestyle diseases in Kerala schools from Thursday

| | Updated on: Jan 08, 2014

The Union Health Minister will launch a Lifestyle Disease Education and Awareness Programme (LEAP) for school children in the State at a function in Ernakulam on Thursday.

It aims to control and prevent occurrence and prevalence of lifestyle diseases in school children through health education, life style modification and regular screening.

JOINT INITIATIVE Union Minister of State for Food and Consumer Affairs K.V. Thomas will preside over the function. State Health Minister V.S. Sivakumar will deliver the welcome address.

The Programme is a joint initiative of the National Rural Health Mission and the State Departments of Health and Education, Sivakumar said.

State Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb will also be present at the function. The new initiative will complement a peer programme titled ‘Amrutham, Arogyam’ for adults.

Under this, at least one crore individuals above the age of 30 years will be screened free of charge for what the Minister calls ‘a lifestyle epidemic’ ravaging the State.

INTENSIVE DRIVE At least 70 lakh people have already been subjected to tests as part of the intensive year-long drive, Sivakumar said.A recent study has revealed that 2.7 per cent of the 10 lakh children surveyed in Government schools are overweight and 0.8 per cent obese.

This has been endorsed by another study conducted by the nutrition research centre in the schools. Unhealthy eating habits, lack of exercise and stress have combined to make school children sickly, the Minister said.

Growing competition in the field has forced children to largely keep indoors with no physical activity either at home or away.

vinson.kurian@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 08, 2014

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