Sunday, February 2, 2003, Chandigarh, India


L U D H I A N A   S T O R I E S


Junk food causing hypertension among kids
Shivani Bhakoo

Ludhiana, February 1
There is bad news for urban school going children in the district with junk food taking a toll on their health. A survey conducted on school children has revealed high presence of hypertension and obesity. Shocking as it may sound, the prevalence of hypertension and obesity among Ludhiana children is almost double of that found among similar age groups in any urban population all over country.

Conducted by doctors, nurses and paramedical staff of Hero DMC Heart Institute (HDHI) over a three-week period, the survey-cum-study sampled 2467 students from two city schools falling in the age group of 11 to 17. The survey found that 287 students (11.63 per cent) were overweight and 59 students (2.39 per cent) were found to be obese. The males outnumbered females in the obese group. It was found that overweight and obesity increased with age. In comparison, among rural youth only 1.59 per cent were found to be overweight.

Junk food, chocolates and cold drinks has also taken its toll on the health of the urban youth with 6.69 per cent suffering from sustained hypertension due to dietary habits.

Globally only 4 per cent urban youth have been found to be afflicted with the disease, thereby indicating that the prevalence of sustained hypertension among city youth is almost double of that recorded by national and international studies. Again, males outnumber females (7.60 per cent versus 5.81 per cent). With increasing body weight, blood pressure of children is also increasing.

The survey suggests that the stress of modern living is playing a havoc on the health of the adolescent youth. Youth in the same age group from rural areas have a lesser incidence of this disease as compared to their urban counterparts. According to Dr Gurpreet Wander, Chief Cardiologist, HDHI, and one of the members of the survey team: “An important finding was that it was not only the youth with heavier body weight that suffered from hypertension, about 4.52 per cent students with normal body weight suffered from hypertension, which was double of studies worldwide”.

Among the dietary pattern, the study suggests that the consumption of fast food correlated with increasing prevalence of hypertension. “We are recommending that surveillance and preventive measures for hypertension and obesity must start at an early age”, say Dr Bishav Mohan, Dr Naresh Sood, Dr Naved Aslam and Dr Naveen, who also conducted the survey.

Another interesting finding of the survey is that 72 per cent of the urban students do not consume fruits in any time of the week. Only 19 per cent students ate fruit once a week, while 8 per cent had fruit two times in a week.

Among the rural populace, only 9 per cent of the students completely abstained from taking fruit. About 55 per cent of rural students ate fruit once a week and 34 per cent twice a week.

Nearly 60 per cent of urban students were taking fast food once a week and 19 per cent two times a week. In comparison, 65 per cent of rural students totally abstained from junk food and 22 per cent consumed junk food once a week. Interestingly, contrary to popular belief, 46 per cent of urban students never consumed cold drinks and 44 per cent consumed one bottle per day. On the other hand among the rural students, 76 per cent of them never consumed cold drinks, while 18 per cent consumed one bottle of cold drink per day.

As compared to 46 per cent of urban students, 65 per cent of rural students abstained from eating chocolates, while 34 per cent urban students ate a chocolate per day; some 12 per cent ate two chocolates per day. From among the rural youth, 21 per cent ate one chocolate a day while 10 per cent ate two chocolates per day.

Meanwhile, Metro Heart Institute of Metro Group of Hospitals, Delhi, announced special packages for heart patients of Punjab and nearby states at the first

Heart Clinic in Ludhiana here today. Metro will be opening such heart clinics in major towns so as to cater to the needs of patients in patient outreach programme under the leadership of Dr H.S. Bedi.

Dr Bedi, talking to mediapersons here today, said the clinic had been opened with the efforts of Padma Vibhushan Dr P. Lal, a pioneer in interventional cardiology. “Dr Lal wants to serve the masses through these clinics and make heart treatment within the reach of every patient and provide international standard heart care at an affordable cost”, said Dr Bedi.

Dr Bedi also said that heart patients could now easily travel to Delhi as a Metro Hospital van would provide free transportation from the New Delhi railway station.



Challenges in checking female foeticide
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 1
In 2001, 66,109 cases of female foeticide or sex selective abortion were reported in the country, whereas in 2000, the number was 69,298. More than 6,21,790 cases of female foeticide were reported in the country in the last decade. This data was given by Ms Rupan Deol Bajaj, Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare of Punjab, at a state-level seminar on female foeticide at Guru Nanak Bhavan here yesterday.

Ms Bajaj said, out of 593 districts in the country, 78 had 1,148 females against every 1,000 males. Among the 34 lowest female sex-ratio districts in the country, 17 were in Punjab and 13 in Haryana. Fatehgarh Sahib had the lowest female sex-ratio in the country. Ms Bajaj said it was unfortunate that sonography, a health safety technology, had been hijacked for conducting illegal sex-determination tests.

She praised Mr Anurag Aggarwal, Deputy Commissioner, for developing a computerised Integrated Monitoring System and said mass awareness could save the girl child. She urged parents not to be partial with the female child.

The Deputy Commissioner, Mr Anurag Aggarwal, said female foeticide was sex-selective abortion aided by sex determination. In most cases, sex determination was done through ultrasound, a simple and widely available technique. Mr Aggarwal said abortion was not illegal in the country and the only restriction under the MTP Act, was that the termination of the second trimester pregnancy should be done by a board of doctors. He said a big lacuna in the present approach was that the government was talking only about the first act. “To have an effective check on female foeticide, sex determination and abortion should be linked. If the two acts continue to be seen in isolation, the situation may further worsen in the state.” he said.

Two-pronged strategy had been adopted for Ludhiana and it included the enforcement of the PNDT Act and a follow-up of suspected cases of female foeticide. The monitoring system and the software developed by the district administration were an attempt to link sex-determination and subsequent abortion. "Through this software, suspected cases of female foeticide are detected and health workers visit expectant mothers to find out the status of the pregnancies. Personal information about the family of pregnant woman who goes for ultrasound, sonography is captured and analysed. A suspect is one with one or more girl child and no male child, who undergoes USG in 12th to 18th week of pregnancy,” said Mr Aggarwal.

In the follow-up to test the system, 66 suspected cases were shortlisted, out of which 35 had given wrong addresses, 22 are continuing with the pregnancy, three are outstation patients and six committed female foeticide. In 50 per cent cases, patients gave wrong addresses or concealed information.

The others who spoke at the seminar included Dr D.P.S. Sandhu, Director Health and Family Welfare, Punjab; Dr S.N.Tiwari, Civil Surgeon; Dr Gursharan Singh, president of the IMA Ludhiana; Dr Iqbal Ahuja, Giani Jagtar Singh, Sarpanch Mr Gurmukh Singh and Braham Kumari Anita.



Hospital for Gujarat quake victims
Our Correspondent

Ludhiana, February 1
The IMA Ludhiana has congratulated former national president of the IMA, Dr Ketan Desai for getting a hospital constructed for the benefit of earthquake victims. The IMA has constructed a hospital at Gandhidham and it will be handed over to the Gujarat Government tomorrow. Mr I.K. Jadeja, the Health Minister of Gujarat will inaugurate the hospital.

Dr Gursharan Singh, local president of the IMA, in a press note today said that the association had decided to provide concessional treatment to retirees’ association of UCO Bank, which had approached the IMA for benefits. He said other pensioners associations could also approach the IMA in this regard.

Association members congratulated the Deputy Commissioner and the Civil Surgeon, Dr S.N. Tiwari, for developing a state of the art monitoring system to check female foeticide. “In a trial run of less than one month, this system has been able to detect about 49 controversial cases, one can imagine the success rate of this monitoring system”, Dr Gursharan said.

The IMA also brought to the notice of the government that like kidney, blood was also available at a cost and rickshaw-pullers and the poor were being exploited. The IMA advised the public against purchasing such blood as it could spread dangerous diseases like AIDS and hepatitis.

Dr Gursharan said the association will start de-addiction centres in the city and facilities would be provided free of cost.



Sahil is best athlete
Our Sports Reporter

Ludhiana, February 1
Sahil Diwedi, a student of class VIII, emerged winner in five events and was adjudged the best athlete in the inter-house competition during the annual sports meet of the Bhartiya Vidya Mandir, Kitchlu Nagar here today. Ramman House bagged the running trophy.

Earlier, Mr Bhupinder Singh, Principal, Shaheed Kanshi Ram Memorial College of Physical Education, Bhagomajra inaugurated the meet.

Results: boys upto class VIII 100 — Sahil 1, Pankaj 2, Sanket 3; 200 — Sahil 1, Amir 2, Sanchit 3; 400 — Pankaj 1, Hitesh 2, Bhupinder 3; 800 — Sahil 1, Pankaj 2, Sanket 3; 4x100 m relay — Sahil, Pankaj, Sahil, and Sanchit 1, Harkamal, Ritesh, Rajat and Lovedeep 2, Bhupinder, Hitesh, Sanket and Akhil 3; shot put — Arun 1, Ashish 2, Sahil 3; long jump — Sahil 1, Amir 2, Nimesh 3; sack race — Bhupinder 1, Anuj 2, Shrey 3.

Girls, 100 — Alka 1, Shivani 2, Ankita 3; 200 m — Shivani 1, Kamya 2, Monika 3; 400 m— Yukti 1, Sakshi 2, Monika 3; 4x100 relay — Rajita, Shivani, Suandha and Sakshi 1, Yukti, Tanya, Nikiti and Sunayna 2, Monika, Gagan, Avnit and Alka 3; shot put — Saloni 1, Dimple 2; long jump — Suganhda 1, Shivani 2, Deepshikha 3; three-legged race — Tanya and Yukti 1, Deepika and Himai 2, Vaishali and Neha 3.

Class IX (boys), 100 m — Puneet 1, Ankit 2, Rohit 3; 200 m — Lalit Sharma 1, Rohit Gupta 2, Ankit Sharma 3; 400 — Lalit 1, Anuj 2, Varun 3; shot put — Puneet 1, Prince 2, Chinmey 3; long jump — Puneet 1, Gaurav Kalia 2, Mohit 3; three legged race — Anil and Angad 1, Anuj and Varun 2, Bhavnesh and Robin 3; Skipping — Shikha 1, Richa 2, Monika 3; sack race — Anuj 1, Gaurav 2, Anil Soni 3; Javelin throw — Prince 1, Varun Garg 2, Harshradha 3; Discus throw — Prince 1, Gaurav Gupta 2, Varun Garg.

(Girls), 100 m — Rupica 1, Upasna 2, Swati 3; 200 m — Rupica 1, Monika 2, Swati 3; 400 m — Shikha 1, Meenakshi 2, Upasana 3; shot put — Sandeep 1, Prakriti 2, Ritika 3; long jump — Rupica 1, Manjot 2, Monika 3; chatti race — Shikha 1, Sandeep 2 and 3 Meenakshi 3.

Athletics meet

Prabhpreet Kaur, who won 200 m and 400 m races, was declared the best athlete in the 33rd annual athletics meet of Ramgarhia Girls College, Miller Ganj, here today. She also helped her team (BA II) to finish runners up in the relay race.

In 200 m race, Prabhpreet Kaur emerged victorious, while the second and third positions went to Amanpreet Kaur and Sonu Rani, respectively. In 400 m race, Prabhpreet Kaur was followed by Amanpreet Kaur and Renu.

Ms Veena Dada, Deputy Director Punjab School Education Board, was the chief guest on the occasion. Earlier, Harmeet Kaur, Principal of the college welcomed the chief guest and apprised her of the educational and sports activities in the college .



Boxing body office-bearers
Our Correspondent

Khanna, February 1
The Ludhiana District Amateur Boxing Association has elected new office-bearers, according to Mr G.S. Saro, honorary secretary of the Punjab Amateur Boxing Association. He has said this in a letter issued here today by boxing coach and technical adviser of the association, Mr J.S. Garewal.

Mr Iqbal Singh has been elected the president of the association. Mr Jagmohan Singh, Mr Ashok Kumar and Mr Gurvir Singh Shahi have been elected the vice-presidents of the body.

The other office-bearers are as follows: Mr Pawan Kumar — General Secretary; Mr Parveen Kumar Mittal — Joint Secretary; Mr Charanjit Rao — Cashier; Mr J.S Garewal — Technical Adviser; and Mr Rashid Khan — Patron.


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