Karnataka Police in India have been instructed its officers to either lose weight or face potential suspension from police service, BBC News reported.
In a statement to the BBC, the police chief of Karnataka State Reserve Police expressed concerns over the rising rates of obesity in police personnel.
Police chief, Bhaskar Rao, said that issued the directives after more than a 100 officers died in the past 18 months due to their life-style and weight-related illnesses.
The police officers will be provided assistance to make their diet and lifestyle healthier.
The KRSP employs 14,000 personnel and is often needed to control riots, agitations, violence. The police force also provides security for events organised on a larger scale.
KRSP senior officers have been instructed to identify unfit policemen and place them on exercise regimes to help them reduce weight.
“We started the process of monitoring their [KSRP officers’] sugar and other health indices six months ago. The latest circular that they will face suspension and removal from employment is a threat to those who are careless [about their health],” Rao informed BBC Hindi’s Imran Qureshi.
It is a common sight to see Indian policemen struggle with weight-related health problems.
According to Rao, 153 men have died in the last 18 months. Out of the 153 deceased officers, 24 died in road accidents while nine committed suicide.
“The rest have died due to lifestyle-related diseases like cardiac problems and diabetes. “This is the biggest wake-up call that a force can get,” Rao exclaimed. Most of the officers smoke, drink, and refrain from exercise, Rao claims.
They also have a predominantly rice-based diet and eat fried food. As a consequence, Rao said: “they become lethargic and don’t fit into their uniforms. So, platoon commanders have been told to routinely monitor the body mass index [BMI] of every policeman”.
KRSP has began to offer swimming, yoga and sports classes to officers in an effort to combat weight problems.
Rao further stated, “Of course, their exercise regimen is conducted after medical examination and activities are decided on the doctor’s advice.”
This article originally appeared on BBC News.