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Times of India
02 September 2010
By Swati Shinde
Pune, India

Twentyeight city school principals have agreed to join a consortium to advise the state government and educational department about lifestyle–related problems among school children and suggest solutions.

City Schools To Help Govt Address Health Problems Of Students
The consortium will be formed under the aegis of the Symbiosis Institute of Health Sciences (SIHS) and the KEM hospital.

The initiative was taken after a five–year study conducted by SIHS and KEM research on ‘prevention of lifestyle–related disorders in school children’.

A principals’ meet was organised in mid–August in the city where the study was presented. "As an outcome of the meet, it was decided to form a consortium that will not only have schools, but also doctors, educationists, counsellors, physical training teachers among others who will promote a healthy lifestyle among school children and draw a road map on how health–related activities can be implemented through the project," SIHS dean Rajiv Yeravdekar told TOI on Wednesday. The consortium will be formed in a month, he added .

"The root cause is lack of physical activity among school children. It leads to obesity which can be responsible for diabetes, hypertension among other diseases. Lack of hospital infrastructure, lack of sports promotion in schools, no government policies, no attractive incentives for students who perform well in sports may lead to such problems. The consortium will address these problems and find a way out," he said.

The SIHS and KEM hospital will push for sports as a compulsory subject and seek marks for it . Sheila Bhave, consultant paediatric research, KEM hospital, said, "During the study, we realised that health activities in children should be inculcated. Lifestyle disorders they face in school lead to severe diseases during adulthood."

Bhave suggested that health seminars and rigorous and compulsory physical exercises daily should be a must in every school.

Deepak Phalgune, head of department, academics, SIHS, said, "Parent–teacher meetings must be organised in schools to sensitise them about the lifestyle disorders."

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