In order to raise awareness about obesity-prevention among students, the West Bengal Education Department has decided to introduce lessons in the school curriculum on the importance of maintaining healthy lifestyles for addressing the health problem, a senior official said.
The course will be implemented from the primary education level for which disbursal of funds have already started, he said. Besides imparting theoretical knowledge, the curriculum would also highlight the practical aspect of tackling obesity such as the necessity of physical activity, regular measurement of certain parameters and eating healthy food, the official said.
Teachers will be taught to induce among students the habit of practising yoga to prevent obesity. The teachers in turn will teach the students, he said. "The lessons will explain the necessity of regularly monitoring certain parameters like blood pressure, blood sugar and body weight. The first two factors have an intimate relation with obesity.
"All these will be explained in the curriculum to raise the awareness level of the students, which will eventually help their parents know about the basic things about obesity," the official told PTI.
In fact, measurement of blood pressure, blood sugar and body weight should be regularly done among school students, he said. "The instruments for measuring these parameters will be bought by the schools from funds provided by the department, mainly meant for this purpose," he said.
The department has already purchased sphygmomanometer and stethoscope for measuring blood pressure, he stated. Weighing machines, skinfold callipers for determining state of obesity and glucometer for measuring blood sugar have also been purchased, he said.
"The teachers will be trained by physicians in handling the instruments. They will also be taught about the impact of blood pressure, blood sugar and how obesity can be controlled or prevented through controlling food habits and regular exercising," he said.
Primary schools would get Rs 3,000, upper primary institutions would receive Rs 7,000 and Rs 10,000 would be allotted to secondary and higher secondary schools, the official said.