Chota Bheem is a phenomenon for the children of today. Some look at him as a role model. But is he affecting the health of your child?
The thought first came to my mind, when my daughter asked me for a ladoo about 2 years ago. She said Bheem has ladoos and that’s why he is strong. Realizing that this was probably not such a bad thing, I did get her the ladoos. After a while this became the norm and she started consuming the sweets regularly.
I started analysing her diet one day after she had become hyper active after an evening of binge watching Bheem and eating ladoos.
The Ladoo or as some people define it as a Round Ball Asian-Indian Dessert, has come to signify the corner stone of any celebration in India. For me personally it signifies the lows of hostel life as a fresher as me and my roommate spent a month eating ladoos to avoid any encounters with our seniors in Manipal.
So the humble ladoo has about 245.6 calories. This is according to a table from Fitday.com. If we calculate one ladoo to be around 1-3/4 inch diameter. According to Physician Erin Coleman a 3 year old needs about 1000-1400 calories a day. But if a child consumes about 4-5 ladoos a day then he or she gets 1225 calories. Now mostly a ladoo contains fat and some carbohydrates. It is heavily deficient in Mineral, Vitamins and Proteins. A growing child needs more proteins and not necessarily so much of fat intake daily.
Now Bheem consumes about 4-5 ladoos per episode and a child on average watches 2-3 episodes a day. So in front of the child Bheem has consumed about 15 ladoos or in calorie terms about 3675 calories. At this rate Chota Bheem could soon become Mota Bheem with all the complications of a country already reeling under the twin complications of Diabetes and Obesity.
Given the situation is this really what the creators of Bheem want ? To set a crazy Ladoo junkie as a role model for children and leading them to a very unhealthy life?
So what can Green Gold productions do to change the scene
1) Change the Ladoo to something healthy
When I was a child I was inspired by two characters. One of them was Popeye the sailor man. Now Popeye had this great ability to gulp down tonnes of spinach, My mother used to tell me this repeatedly to encourage me to consume more spinach. Similarly the other character I used to like was Bugs bunny. He used to consume carrots. Carrots and Spinach are rich in minerals and vitamins and they are something that the growing children need.
2) Disconnect the correlation between Ladoo and Strength
The episodes shoe Bheem consuming ladoos to increase his strength. I think it is that association that is dangerous. If the creators can make this clean break and disassociate the linking of Strength and ladoos
3) Reduce the number of ladoos consumed
4-5 ladoos per episode is a bit too many. Reducing the number of ladoos is probably a better option. Maybe 1 or 2 a day would be fine.
In conclusion, Bheem though a fictional character could have a very real bad effect on the health of your child. I would advise all of you to speak to the children and ensure that they know the difference between Fact and Fiction…