Obesity among students during the year-long lockdown has emerged as a serious worry for parents, also as they need to buy new outfits for their children, including uniforms.
A Class X private school student in Anantapur had a waist size of 39 inches prior to the lockdown, but within a few months the size swelled to 43 inches. The parents say they purchased more than 10 pairs of outfits including two pairs of uniforms for the student. Similar situations arose for students and parents across the country.
Uniform-making and supplying agent Rajesh of Anantapur said a corporate school recently started classes for Class-IX and X. It ordered new sets of uniforms in bulk for all students. “I was shocked to collect measurements of children who have all become fatter or grown in size,” he said and added at least four students were found having a waist size of 43.
Parents of a Class IX girl student from a private school in Anantapur purchased more than 15 new dresses for her, saying the old dresses did not fit anymore. “This is an inevitable situation and I had to spend more than Rs.17,000 to get new clothes for my daughter excluding what I spent by way of ordering new school uniforms,” a mother stated on condition of anonymity. She confided that the old clothes were donated to the granddaughter of her housemaid.
Private schools make uniforms for their students via dress supply agents. The agents are now getting new clothes stitched for these schools.
“Children and teens are seriously struggling with obesity due to lack of minimum physical exercise during the lockdown home-stay period, when they also ate more,” Dr. Ravi Srinivas, general physician and obesities specialist, observed.
Children also took a fancy to search for new types of food and cooking tips on Google during this period, and engaged in cooking experiments as time was hanging heavy on them. This resulted in obesity among many of them.
Among many, noted writer Yendamuri Veerendranath had cautioned children against eating food while watching TV as the intake would be more and lead to obesity and other physical disorders.
The online classes also added to the problem of obesity. A study revealed the children ate extra food with rich fats and were sleeping an extra two hours per day. They spent nearly five hours a day with phone, computer and television screens. This dramatically increased their consumption of junk food in addition to routine traditional foods.
Jayachandra, correspondent of Radha School of Learning in Anantapur, said his institution was planning to provide physical exercise to students by following Covid lockdown regulations so as to help students overcome the problem of obesity.