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Urban Indians have unhealthy diet: Experts

Hectic lifestyles and easy availability of convenience foods has led to irregular meals and frequent snacking on energy-dense foods among urban Indians.

delhi Updated: Nov 13, 2010 00:32 IST
HT Correspondent

Hectic lifestyles and easy availability of convenience foods has led to irregular meals and frequent snacking on energy-dense foods among urban Indians.

Consumption trends have revealed an increased intake of sweetened carbonated drinks and sweetened juices among the Indian masses.

“Overall, this nutritional transition, particularly noticeable in children, has resulted in high consumption of calories, saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, simple sugars and salt,” said Dr Anoop Misra, director, department of diabetes and metabolic diseases, Fortis Hospitals, New Delhi. “Childhood overweight/obesity is increasing in urban cities in India. Three-year data from eight big cities, including Mumbai and Lucknow, show highest prevalence of obesity among Delhi school children with 32.6%, with the lowest in Lucknow with 14.9%.”

Over a three year period overweight and obesity in school children (14-18 years), increased significantly from 9.8 to 11.7%.

Nutrition transition is responsible for causing obesity and other diet-related non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension and cardiovascular disease," he said.

Over 200 experts representing reputed medical institutions, hospitals, government funded research institutions, and policy-making bodies participated to develop Asian Indians-specific dietary guidelines.

Simple shift in diets could tilt metabolism in such a manner that blood sugar and cholesterol get metabolised more efficiently,” said Dr Misra.