Karnataka policemen told to arrest their pot bellies

Lose weight or face action, personnel of the Karnataka State Reserve Police told

The policemen of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) have been told to choose between keeping their jobs and their pot bellies. Those who are overweight are under the scanner after the head of the force announced that they had to either shed a few pounds or face action.

In a July 3 circular, Bhaskar Rao, Additional Director-General of Police, KSRP, has said the commanders of all 12 platoons have been instructed to identify pot-bellied personnel and put them on a strict exercise regime and healthy diet. The policemen should be given a deadline to reduce the size of their pot bellies, and those who fail to do so must face disciplinary action.

Platoons commanders have already started the drive to identify personnel based on their Body Mass Index (BMI) and put them on a rigorous exercise regimen. Apart from regular parades and exercises, the identified personnel have been ordered to take up sports of their choice, along with compulsory jogging and swimming, a senior police officer said.

Mr. Rao said the decision would also improve the policemen’s quality of life. “About 150 policemen, aged 40-50 years, die every year from lifestyle-related ailments. Many of them have a history of cardiac problems, blood pressure and diabetes, and also heavy drinking and smoking habits. Such mortality rates in the force are unacceptable. Some discipline and a healthy diet can make a big difference,” he said.

The first step towards a healthier lifestyle has been a shift from white rice to millets such as ragi, and an increase in the time set aside for parade and sports. The platoon commanders will be held responsible for keeping their platoon healthy. The seniors have been asked to chalk out a routine wherein the workouts will be fun, and focus on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual fitness of the personnel.

Though he has not set a specific deadline, he said that he would review the progress after three months.

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