CHILDHOOD OBESITY: AYURVEDIC MEASURES TO CURB THE EPIDEMIC

Ayurveda By CCRAS Ministry of AYUSH


Obesity among children and adolescents is reaching alarming proportions in India and
world. If current trends continue, overweight or obese children globally will increase to 70
million by 2025. Obesity impacts the child’s immediate health, educational attainment and
quality of life. Marketing of unhealthy foods and sugary beverages along with insufficient
physical activity and excessive television watching and computer use are the major
contributing factor towards childhood obesity. A child may become obese also due to familial
or hereditary factors and endocrinal disorders. It is important to address the problem of
overweight and obesity at school level itself because it can lead to rise of adult diseases in
youth like hypertension, type 2 diabetes mellitus and heart disease. Ayurvedic texts have
described this disease under the heading of “Sthaulya”.
Ausadhi (drugs), ahara (diet) and vihara (exercise and appropriate life style) are the
major components of Ayurvedic treatment. Administration of guru and apatarpan dravya
(low-calorie diet) are considered ideal to improve defective metabolism seen in obesity.
Drugs prepared from Guggulu, Rasanjana, Triphala, Trikatu, Vacha, Vidanga, Chitraka,
Gomutra, Madhu etc. may be prescribed to overcome the excess weight. Navaka guggulu,
Vyoshadi guggulu, Arogyavardhini vati, Medohara Vidangadi lauha, Triphala churna are
few of the formulations used in the management of obesity. Asana and Pranayama like
Suryanamaskar, Trikonasana, Halasana, Vajrasana, Bhujangasana, Dhanurasana,
Chakrasana, Ardha-matsyendrasana along with Kapalbhati and Bhastrika Pranayama also
help in maintaining healthy body metabolism. Cereals and pulses rich in fibre like barley
(jau), oats, millet (ragi/mandua), corn, chickpeas (kala chana), green gram (moong) etc.
should be included in diet along with fresh vegetables like lauki, parwal, tauri, karela, palak,
methi, sahijan (drumstick), carrot, cucumber etc.
There is a need of spreading awareness about the healthy eating and adequate physical
activity at home and in schools to curb the epidemic of childhood obesity.
 Avoid sweets, cold drinks, fried, fatty and bakery food items, non-vegetarian food, milk·
products like cheese, butter etc.
Fibre-rich vegetables and fruits and lukewarm water should be consumed more frequently.   ·
Encourage children to participate in physical activity like walking, running, swimming,   ·
cycling, playing outdoor games for at least an hour and to limit time spent watching
television and playing computer games.
*Note: All these measures should be followed under the supervision of medical practitioner.
                                                                                                                                    Dr. Amit Rai 

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