Food Habits that are destroying your Child’s physical and mental health!

(Original Article from Times of India, Mumbai)

Mumbai: Mumbai is fast becoming a city of overweight but undernourished children, who are fast falling prey to ailments rarely heard of in kids earlier. Experts lay the blame on traditional food losing out to fast food on kids popularity charts, a phenomenon abetted by busy parents who dish out instant meals.

Obesity is currently believed to be the worst epidemic among Indias children and 14% of all Mumbai’s schoolchildren are overweight or obese, according to a study done by Asian Heart Institutes doctors and published in the British Medical Journal.

Moreover, even overweight children suffer from the deficiency of essential micronutrients, which has proved to be a concurrent epidemic.

Research suggests these micronutrients are crucial to maintaining the body’s digestive and hormonal systems; deficiency of vitamins like D and B12 could act as triggers for diseases ranging from cancer, weak bone structure, anaemia, decreased memory and concentration to anger and depression.

There is no denying that Mumbais children are growing obese. Worse, about 60% of Mumbaikars suffer from deficiency of essential micronutrients. A study done earlier this year based on data collected by 198 nutritionists and dieticians from over 1,200 patients, including children, revealed that 81% of suffered from iron deficiency,15% from vitamin deficiency and 3% from zinc deficiency.

Doctors are most worried that urban children are forsaking are vitamin B12 and B3.The deficiency of these cause an array of problems from graying and loss of hair, skin troubles, aches and pain in muscles and weakness in bones, faulty sleep structure, faulty memory functioning, irritability, mood swings and even suicidal thoughts.

Gastroenterologist from KEM Hospital say problems like calcium deficiency set in very early among Mumbai kids, another fallout of their poor diet. As children opt for more of junk and less of fresh foods, there is over-nutrition macronutrients like carbohydrates and fats, alongwith under-nutrition of micronutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibres.
Junk food is high in salt,sugar and trans-fats. So children consuming these tend to be over-weight and obese and have chances of getting diabetes and heart problems earlier in life. But the deficiency of micronutrients makes them internally unhealthy.

Eating Better,Healthier
 Simple solutions suggested by doctors, nutritionist and MasterChef's:

1. Give children cereal with milk,but add crushed dates instead of sugar to sweeten it.

2. Give children bread preparations like sandwich, subs or toast only once a week, substituting white bread with brown or whole-wheat bread

3. Shallow fry cutlets instead of deep-frying them. Make the cutlets with less potatoes and more vegetables.
4. Include uttappam,idli or dosa in the childs menu at least once a week
5. Make tachos with cornflour instead of maida and bake them.
6. Steam dahi vadas and add freshly prepared chutneys. You can include spinach in the chutney, so that kids get the nutrition without knowing they are eating spinach
(FOR RECIEPES ON HEALTHY FOOD YOU CAN VISIT and consult a US-based nutrionist and MasterChef in Health Foods at THE FOLLOWING BLOG –

For any further discussion on the above contact me 

Dr.Hemantt Mittall  
(MBBS, PG.DPM, M.D.(Mind Mantra Wellness Concepts - Mumbai))
Website -         
WELLNESS CLINIC Address- 15, shreeji plaza, Next to Seawood Station (east), Navi Mumbai, Mumbai (India)
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