An Arresting Diet

The struggle to trim Mumbai police waistlines
It Happens
An anti-obesity clinic will be set up at the police hospital in Nagapada, Mumbai (Photo: RITESH UTTAMCHANDANI)

The sight of pot-bellied, overweight policemen may just be a thing of the past if the ambitious plans of the Mumbai Police are a success. Keen on getting leaner policemen with higher energy levels, the authorities are seeking help from well-known anti-obesity consultants. The families of policemen, too, will be roped in to ensure that wives and mothers understand the new composition of a policeman’s diet.

However, getting police women to shed the excess kilos will be a gigantic task. “Police women have all excuses lined up. Whenever an attempt has been made, a huge majority of police women have cited their excess weight as that from childbirth,” says a police source involved with the project. “They tell us that they find no time from their jobs and home schedule...”

A tender has been floated to buy a body composition analyser which categorises body weight into various components to help obese patients understand their problems better. They provide detailed body composition analysis in terms of weight, body fat percentage, body mass index, fat mass, and fat free mass.
Plans are on to set up an anti-obesity clinic at the police hospital in Mumbai’s Nagpada district. A nutritionist will be stationed at this hospital to help draw up individual diet charts for policemen and women. Losing weight is not an option for the police force, it is a compulsion, says a senior policeman overseeing the programme.

According to Vijaysinh Jadhav, who is posted at the police headquarters, the commissionerate is extremely serious about the health of its force. This clinic will be used as a nodal agency to create awareness in all police stations, he adds. A circular has already been sent to police stations that all obese policemen and women must visit the clinic. Family members of policemen too can avail of the facility.

According to a deputy commissioner of police—who is extremely overweight—not every policeman is chasing criminals. “Largely, it is a sedentary lifestyle. In the offices, we either sit or are on bandobast duty, where we stand at one place for long periods. A policeman’s life is not like what is shown in films,” he says. “I am fat due to sitting at my desk or in my vehicle the whole day.”