How the Indian education system is creating a nation of diabetics ?


Well congratulations ‘acche din’ have come to diabetes in India. We have successfully crossed 60 Million diabetics and now stand at 67 million. By 2030 we would reach 100 million diabetics.

Now the rate of growth of diabetes in India has grown tremendously. According to a report by the ‘Indus Health Plus’, in Bangalore for example, there has been an increase of 7 % diabetes cases among females and 9% increase in males as compared to last two years. It is alarming that around 25 % of IT / BPO professionals are under threat of diabetes because of stress and hypertension.

So lets take a step back from this mumbo- jumbo. What causes diabetes in the first place ?

Sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, unhealthy , untimely eating sounds familiar ?

How is it that the IT industry suffers more ? or why has the average age of a diabetic has reduced ?

According to the report 15 % increase in diabetes cases have been observed in the age group of 35-45 years. 12% increase in diabetes cases have been observed in females in the age group of 25 – 30 years.  From last five years where diabetes was detected amongst those from the age group of 40 and above the number has now fallen down to 25 to 30 years.

So what was happening at 40 earlier is now happening at 30.

If you are Indian and diabetic then I want you to close your eyes and think through your tens. The time from 10th to 12th standard where you were cramming for IITs or NITs or the private engineering exam entrances. You had no time for exercise and never played any sport. The schools discouraged it and then there was pressure from parents. You end up at an engineering college and you continue in the same vein. Peer pressure and the ambition to get into IT companies or crack CAT or leave the shores for a better life in the US still drove you further down that path.

So one fine day you are 30 and then you have diabetes..

More than the DNA and our genes that are more susceptible to diabetes we may not realize that it was our education system that pushed us over. A combination of unhealthy diet as we study, remember carbohydrate is only food that reaches the brain, important for late night studying and lack of exercise has led to this situation.  A balance would have helped us today and may have helped our scores as well, but just like everything else in our country the storm term vision, prevents us from thinking of the larger issues later in life.

Today the situation is slightly better among children in the cities but in tier 2 towns and villages history is repeating itself. As I write this we would have added a few more diabetics to our numbers in India. The challenge is that we have to pay for this out of our pockets or pay more for insurance, that means more work and more stress and more diabetes so the cycle continues. As anyways our public health spending is one of the lowest in the world.

I personally have been remarkably unaffected and fight a battle to keep things off myself..


Dr. Vikram Venkateswaran

Management Thinker, Marketer, Healthcare Professional Communicator and Ideation exponent

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