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Focus Shifts From Malnutrition To Childhood Obesity In India’s Urban Clinics

In a post in the GlobalPost’s “Pulse” blog, the second in a series about child health in India, Harman Boparai, a doctor from India currently working as a Kaiser Health Reporting Fellow at GlobalPost, examines issues surrounding child health in the country, highlighting a shift in focus from malnutrition to childhood obesity in urban centers in Punjab. Boparai highlights a visit to a clinic in his hometown of Amritsar in Punjab, where the majority of patients come for vaccinations and minor illnesses, and contrasts this with to a clinic visit in the district of Panna in Madhya Pradesh, “where the child mortality rate is three times that of Punjab” and “[t]he two biggest killers of children that could easily be prevented are diarrhea and pneumonia.” He writes, “Next I will head to the heartland of the country, where the child mortality rate is many times higher than in my home state, to see what milestone their progress has reached, or where it has stalled” (7/24).