Nearly half the police force overweight: study

Nearly half of the police force in Chandigarh is grossly overweight, according to a recent study. The department, however, blames it on increased stress, unhealthy eating habits and erratic lifestyle of the personnel.

A total of 2,006 personnel of the total strength of 4,170 are overweight as per the latest report of the physical proficiency tests conducted for all police officers, thus making the percentage of overweight personnel close to 48 per cent. These encompass all ranks ranging from constable to deputy superintendent of police (DSP).

Last year, 979 personnel were found to be overweight out of the 3,146 who had taken the test. This year, the figure has doubled.

The report reveals that 1,172 of the total 2,854 constables are overweight. With a height-weight chart as the 'standing order', over 30 per cent of overweight constables in the age group of 20-35 years were found to be overweight by at least eight kilos. For instance, a 34-year-old constable with a height of five feet and nine inches was found to be weighing 90 kilos, while as per fitness standards, his weight should not exceed 74 kilos.

The problem could be seen more in the senior ranks. Nine out of the total 12 DSPs were found to be overweight with over half of them weighing over 90 kilos. Thirty-four inspectors of the total 50 were found to be overweight. A five feet eleven inches tall SHO was found to be weighing 95 kilos, making him overweight by 20 kilos.

The problem is more acute in the head constables, particularly those who are in their late forties or early fifties. Nearly 70 per cent of the 525 head constables taking the test were found to be overweight by at least 10 kilos and belong to this age group. For instance, a six feet tall, 44-year-old head constable found to be weighing 106 kilos.

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