You are here: Home » News-IANS » Lifestyle-Fashion
Business Standard

Bad food raising under-nutrition and obesity: Experts

Topics
Health Medical Pharma

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Giant corporates selling processed foods are not only raising under-nutrition but also over-nutrition, or obesity, in a country that is seen as the hub of stunted and under-nourished children, say experts.

They cited how biscuits, savoury snack packets and the likes, costing between one and five ruppess, have replaced many meals for a large chunk of population across rural and urban India.

"The region is seeing a rapid transition to a new situation where it faces a 'double burden of malnutrition' whereby gains related to reduction in under-nutrition, are being undermined by an increase in overweight and obesity," said Dr Vandana Prasad, National Convenor, Public Health Resource Network (PHRN) at the start of a three-day global meet.

"There are common roots to both these issues and they lie in the maldevelopment that we have engaged in this country," she said at the conference on 'Critical Public Health Consequences of the Double Burden of Malnutrition and the Changing Food Environment in South and South East Asia'.

While under-nutrition is closely associated with communicable diseases like TB, malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea, over-nutrition leads to non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, strokes and certain cancers.

Further, there is a growing evidence linking under-nutrition in childhood with increased risk of obesity and non-communicable diseases in later life. New research links anaemia in early life with obesity in later life.

Around 250 researchers, academicians, practitioners, policy makers and activists from 13 countries are attending the meet with an aim to positively influence the right to food and nutrition and public health policy landscape.

"Around 39 per cent of Indian children are stunted and more than a third of women and men are now over-weight or obese," said Dr Rasmi Avula of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

"We have to look at all these issues from an inequity lens. It's really important to fill the inequity gap. We cannot let the inequity grow," she said.

The unregulated penetration of food and beverage companies and the aggressive marketing of processed and ultra processed foods have begun to severely compound the problem, say experts.

"The food chain from farm to fork is controlled by increasingly few large corporates at every node pesticides, chemicals, seeds, processing, manufacture, retail and supply. Its important that we understand this and take action, otherwise we have a disaster in waiting," said Prof David Sanders, Global Chairperson of People's Health Movement (PHM).

The packaged food is high in sugar, salt and fat, all addictive in nature, but low in nutrition. Its long shelf life, cheap and convenience is changing the food system, said Dr Arun Gupta, Regional Coordinator, International Baby Food Action Network (Asia).

--IANS

mgu/vd

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Wed, March 28 2018. 23:20 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU