Juniorthon, largest kid’s marathon, witnessed overwhelming support from over 1,500 kids and their parents who ran to create awareness about growing childhood obesity in Pune.
The objective was to encourage running as an active lifestyle choice for the children and the entire family and discourages overuse of gadgets. The kids marathon, which took place on February3 at Laxmi Lawns, Magarpatta City, also saw whole-hearted participation from the doctors of Apollo hospital who supported the run and urged the children to engage in physical activities to avoid unhealthy weight gain.
Speaking on the kid’s marathon Dr Vijay Yewale, Head, Institute of Child Health, Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai said, “We have witnessed an upward trend in the number of obese children visiting our hospital every year, this has given rise to many co-morbidities such as hypertension, pre-diabetic state and even arthritis in children as young as 10 years and above. It is important that we encourage children to go out and witness outdoor activities to keep physically fit and ovoid health problems.”
Dr Yewale further added that, “Childhood obesity has doubled by over 50% over the last 3 decades; more than 15 million children are estimated to be overweight in urban India. To encourage them to involve in physical activity and cultivate the behaviour for exercise and outdoor activities , flagged of its 1st season, establishing itself not only as the largest kids marathon in Pune but also as a community project supported by parents and the entire family.
“The run encourages children to participate without worrying about winning or losing, as it awards every child with a ‘Finishers medal’ for completing the run.”
Speaking on the run Mrs Bhavna Mehta, Organiser, Juniorthon Pune, said, “We are thankful and thrilled to witness such a humongous support by kids and their parents, the objective of the event was to create awareness and urge parents to encourage children to come out of their sedentary life style. Childhood obesity, depression, vitamin D deficiency and other related diseases are on rise in India, as children no longer engage themselves in outdoor activities. The run thus was to provide a platform for children to enjoy outdoor activities.”