New Delhi: Two out of five kids in India were found not to have the right Body Mass Index (BMI) levels, according to a health and fitness survey which covered 77,669 children in 176 schools across the country.
The children were in the age group of 7-17 years from 176 schools in 68 cities and 17 states. The fitness parameters were measured over a period of 24 months.
The parameters included flexibility, lower and upper body strength, abdominal strength and BMI which evaluates a person's body weight in proportion to the height.
"In a comparative study between boys and girls, it was found that 66 percent girls have healthy BMI scores compared to 59 percent boys. The primary causes for higher BMI are sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy eating habits and little or no play," the report said.
It also states that high BMI is a direct indicator of the onset of obesity which can lead to several health problems including type 2 diabetes, heart ailments and high blood pleasure as early as adolescence.
The fourth edition of Edusports annual school health and fitness survey of school going children in urban India was conducted by EduSports, a school sports and physical education company.
According to the survey, children in all five regions of the country were deemed equally unfit with unhealthy BMI scores of 37 percent (central), 39 percent (east and north), 37 percent (south) and 38 percent (west).
Encouraging schools to increase their physical education periods, and proposing a structured sports programme as a solution, Saumil Majumdar, CEO and co-founder of Edusports said: "A structured sports programme is the way forward, if any change in the fitness levels of children is desired. It is disheartening to witness an unhealthy generation that is otherwise ahead of its time."
"The alarming fitness standards that have emerged in our annual study, again prove that physical activity/sports in schools should be viewed as an important part of the curriculum for the overall development of a child," he added.