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?Don?t emulate western nutrition models?

india Updated: Oct 30, 2006 18:29 IST
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WITH ITS diversity in food and demography, India has a vast potential to develop its own models for nutrition and other medical services and it is high time, “we stopped looking westward for it,” national president of Indian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ISPEN) Dr Varsha said.

“India is a big country population-wise. So there is no need to emulate western models for nutrition. We are the biggest population and we should tell the world what to do? How, when and what to eat?” Dr Varsha said at the inaugural function of the Indore chapter of ISPEN here on Sunday.

In this effort, we should join hands with other Asian countries as we have more or less a similar ethnicity and other factors, said Dr Varsha, who is the executive director of Parvatiben Tikamji Bhatt Gujarati Hospital at Chennai.

She also urged the Indore chapter to enrol, apart from nutritionists and doctors, trained nurses and representatives of pharma companies too as they were part of the important chain that actually delivered what the dieticians prescribe.

The ISPEN national president also called on the member units to impress the need and demand exemption for nutrition products for medical therapy.

Speaking as the chief guest, senior paediatrician from the City Dr Savita Inamdar said, “Globalisation has impacted every field, which also demands specialisation in the particular field. Indore already has high medical standards and the ISPEN city chapter should be useful in raising standards in parenteral and enteral nutrition at various healthcare delivery units across the city.”

Dr Inamdar, who is also the former chairperson of MP Women’s Commission, urged the gathering, mostly of female dieticians, to not just call themselves as clinical nutritionist as against dietician, but also utilise the vast number of patients they get to deal with for enhancing research as “nutrition is a speciality science.”

ISPEN national secretary Dr Shanmuga Bhaskar, a transplant surgeon from Chennai, said more and more doctors were needed to be part of the Indore unit of ISPEN for better health care system as “it is ultimately the doctors, who decide what to do with the patients, what to feed him etc.”

Earlier, a symposium on “Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition” was also held on the occasion, which was addressed by Dr Varsha, Dr Bhaskar. Dr Chamania, senior cancer surgeon from the City and Dr Inamdar, who spoke on ‘Parenteral Nutrition in paediatric practice’.

Dr Varsha, while speaking on ‘Nutrition Screening in Hospitalised patients’, warned about ‘malnutrition time bomb’ and urged to identify and recognise the threat as it can lead to rise in health care cost apart from higher morbidity and mortality. Noting down medical history of the patient, dietary history, social and medicinal history is utmost necessary, she said adding, after this careful planning and implementation of the nutrition plan is equally important.

Something as simple as noting of height and weight of the patient is also important for proper nutrition plan, she emphasised.

Speaking on ‘Enteral Nutrition’, Dr Bhaskar said early enteral nutrition is important in normal hospitalisation or even post-operative health care. The doctors should think about nutrition as soon as the patient is stable, he said adding, the period should be 1-2 days but not a week as was done earlier.



Dr Chamania, after dwelling on technical aspects related to ‘Nutrition in cancer patients’, highlighted the importance of proper nutrition not just in treatment but also in prevention of cancer.

The Indore chapter of Indian Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ISPEN) – set up to encourage research, education and exchange of information in the field of clinical nutrition, especially parenteral (intravenous nutrition) and enteral nutrition (through mouth) support – would be an effort to establish a platform for the trained dieticians/nutritionists in Indore and increase awareness amongst doctors and hospitals to have a dietician on roll (or as a consultant) not just for heart or diabetic problems but for the whole spectrum of diseases,” Joshi said.

During the installation ceremony held at Hotel Crown Prince Dr C S Chamania was designated as the president of the Indore chapter while clinical nutritionist Padmaja Joshi was designated as secretary and Dr Rashmi Shrivastav as treasurer. Dr Shrivastav proposed the vote of thanks while Shivani conducted the programme.