21% city girl students eat unhealthy food: Study
JAIPUR: The rapid pace of urbanization is taking a toll on children’s health. A survey conducted by Rajasthan University’s department of home science says that 25% girl students studying in Jaipur schools miss breakfast and another 21% consume fast food everyday that leads to a fluctuated body mass index (BMI). This study on girl students was presented at a seminar on ‘Missed Opportunities in Child Nutrition Health and Development’ held at the university on Friday. The study was carried on girls’ education in the age group 14-16 years.
It was conducted on a few Jaipur-based schools, which cater to high income groups, to determine the pocket money spent and food habits the children follow. Over 70% students confess to consuming pizzas twice in a month and all of them are frequent chocolate eaters. They also found that school canteens are promoting unhealthy food practices with providing fast food options like carbonated beverages, burgers, pizzas, ice cream, shakes, chowmein, pasta etc. “It was surprising for us to learn that even when coming from high income groups, girl students take very light breakfast i.e. milk, tea or juice. When probed, we found that most of them have made fast food, which is available in schools, a part of their daily meal,” said Minali Meena, scholar who conducted this study.
The pocket money these children get from their parents is not any less surprising. Over 26% girl students receive less than Rs 500 and they spend little less than Rs 200 on fast food. “Six percent of them receive between Rs 1,000-Rs 2,000 and the fast food expenditure accounts to Rs 1,000. Another 4% of them receive Rs 5,000 per month and spend Rs 1,000 on fast food,” said Meena.
Looking at the amount they are doling out on fast food added with sedentary lifestyle, the study found that students have been made vulnerable to diabetes, osteoporosis, hypertension, obesity and cardiovascular diseases. “Over 31% students have been found to have higher BMI. Situation of middle income groups could be worse as fast food available on streets, which has high fat content, is consumed mostly by students,” said Meena.