On a busy Monday evening, I got a phone call from my best friend Rani. She sounded worried and mentioned that her young son, Rohan, had been experiencing stomach aches for weeks. I immediately rushed over to offer support. Rani, a busy working mom, handed Rohan a quick fix—a medicine to alleviate the pain.
Weeks turned into months, and I couldn't shake off the concern I felt for young Rohan. I couldn't help but notice that, during my visits, he seemed to be a shadow of his former lively self. A lethargic demeanour now replaced his once energetic spirit. The sudden weight gain and persistent dullness in his eyes were even more alarming.
A year passed, and I found myself back at the Rani’s' doorstep for a long-awaited reunion. The changes in Rohan were hard to ignore. His face had lost its youthful glow, and his school uniform seemed to struggle to contain the extra weight he carried. I decided to broach the topic delicately, asking Rani about Rohan's progress in school.
Rani sighed deeply, her eyes filled with regret. She revealed that Rohan had taken a significant downturn in his academic performance. The once-curious boy who used to excel in class now struggled to pay attention, often earning lower grades. Even more disheartening was the fact that Rohan had lost all interest in sports—the activities that used to light up his life.
But the most shocking revelation came next. Rani confided that Rohan's health had deteriorated to a point where he had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Tears welled up in her eyes as she admitted that the root cause of his suffering was his obsession with junk food. Rohan had developed a habit of consuming every meal at fast food joints, forsaking the nourishment of home-cooked meals.
I felt a mixture of sadness and concern as I listened to Rani's heartbreaking account. It was clear that Rohan's health and well-being had been compromised due to his unchecked consumption of unhealthy, processed foods. His parents now carried the weight of their regrets, wishing they had supervised his dietary choices more closely and instilled healthier eating habits from a young age.
Rohan's story serves as a saddening reminder of diet's profound impact on a child's life. It underscores the importance of balanced nutrition, home-cooked meals, and parental guidance in shaping a child's physical and emotional well-being. As I left Rani’s' home that day, I couldn't help but hope that Rohan's health would soon improve and that his family would embark on a journey toward healthier choices together. Rohan's journey has shed light on the significant impact of junk food consumption on health and well-being, especially in children.
A survey organized by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), India reported that 93% of the children aged between 9-14 ate packaged food and 68% consumed packaged beverages more than once a week, 53% ate them almost daily. Junk food such as pizzas and burgers are mostly consumed by 25% of school-going children which have high levels of sugar, salt, and fats. This is leading to over 3.5 million children being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which was once unknown in this age group.
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