Mumbai kids run to raise awareness about childhood obesity

Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, recently organized a marathon for children under the age of 15 in order to raise awareness about childhood obesity

Around 7000 children, junior athletes and their families ran for the Mumbai Juniorthon in Mumbai recently on December 6, which was organized by S L Raheja Fortis Hospital, Mahim for children under the age of 15 in order to raise awareness about childhood obesity. The event was held for encouraging outdoor activities and physical fitness among children especially because childhood obesity is an emerging health concern in India.

Dr Ratnadeep Chaskar, Zonal Director, S. L Raheja Fortis Hospital, says, Urban lifestyles have become sedentary. With the increasing influence of gadgets among children, playgrounds are being forgotten and they are deprived of outdoor activities and sports that are essential for their healthy growth. We feel it is important that the citizens of the city get conscious about their children s health needs and join hands to help develop social, emotional, cognitive, and physical well-being of children by promoting outdoor activities.'

The Juniorthon comprised of five different categories for various levels of runners based on the age of the participants and distance to be covered. These categories included Openers for children between the ages of 6-8 years for which the distance was 500m, Beginners, a 1km long run for children under 11 years old another 2 kms run for children up to 13 years old. The longest run was 4kms for participants below 15 years old. Also, a separate run was organized for differently-abled children. Here's why childhood obesity is on the rise.

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Dr Chaskar further says, Every child needs to play outdoors for his or her physical, social and emotional well-being. The Mumbai Juniorthon was organized to promote running as an active lifestyle for children and the entire family. We appeal to every parent, teacher and coach to inculcate, support and help exercise their right to play.

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