A campaign to prevent obesity among students of 25 CBSE schools in the city was on Friday launched by M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, Royapuram.

The campaign is the third phase of the hospital's ‘slim and fit' programme. The hospital's research arm, the Diabetes Research Centre, will run the campaign to create awareness of obesity among children in classes V to VIII, monitor the health of overweight and obese children for a year by providing them a health card and a checklist for the teachers.

The ‘Chennai Slim and Fit Programme' was launched two years ago based on research results for the Indian population.

Since the CBSE already had an ongoing health education programme, the hospital decided to provide the impetus to make it a success, said the hospital's Managing Director, Vijay Viswanathan.

The campaigners would use health manuals published by the CBSE and provide psychological counselling, inputs on physical activity, eating healthy and preventing selling of snacks near the schools, developing them into model schools.

While the selected schools would receive rigorous awareness programmes, another set of 35 schools would also receive information on the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle but no intense campaign would be conducted in them.

At the end of the year, researchers would study the impact on the control group, Dr. Vijay Viswanathan said.

The Chennai circle of State Bank of India has given Rs.5 lakh to the hospital to prepare posters on healthy lifestyle that would be installed in all the CBSE schools.

J. Chandrasekaran, Chief General Manager, Chennai, presented the cheque and released the posters.