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Thursday, July 18, 2024, 12:10 am

Thursday, July 18, 2024, 12:10 am

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Detonating the ticking time bomb known as diabetes.

Diabetes epidemic in India
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According to a study published in June 2023 and carried out by the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research and the Union Health Ministry, 11.4% of India’s population, or 10.13 crore people, have diabetes, and 15.3% of the population, or an additional 13.6 crore people, have prediabetes. It also revealed that, according to the BMI scale, 28.6% of the population is obese.


Ultra­processed food consumption

The World Health Organisation claims that one of the main causes of this is the use of unhealthily ultra-processed foods and beverages, which are heavily promoted and are replacing traditional diets. Carbonated beverages, instant cereals, chips, fruit-flavored beverages, instant noodles, cookies, ice cream, bakery goods, energy bars, sweetened yoghurts, pizzas, processed meat items, and powdered baby formulae are examples of this type of food.

Scientific research demonstrates that diets high in ultra-processed foods and drinks or high in sugar, fat, and salt are dangerous and can cause diabetes. A daily increase in ultra-processed food consumption of 10% is linked to a 15% increased risk of type 2 diabetes in adults.

When food is ultra-processed, its structure is disrupted and flavouring, colouring, and cosmetic ingredients are added. As a result, people eat more, put on weight, and have a higher chance of developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses. Additionally, diabetes and obesity are significant risk factors for heart disease and fatalities. According to a research, persons who consume more than four servings of ultra-processed food every day are far more likely to develop cardiovascular disease.

Diets high in ultra-processed foods and drinks or high in sugar, fat, and salt are dangerous and can cause diabetes, according to scientific research. Adults are 15% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes when their daily intake of ultra-processed food increases by 10%.Diabetes epidemic in India

The structure of the food is damaged during ultra-processing, and flavourings, colours, and cosmetic additives are also added. This increases appetite, weight gain, and the chance of developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses in humans. Additionally, diabetes and obesity are significant risk factors for heart disease and fatalities. According to a research, persons who consume more than four servings of ultra-processed food daily run a substantially higher risk of dying from cardiovascular causes than those who consume no more than two servings daily. Additionally, an increase in mortality from all causes was seen.


A recreation area for the food sector

According to reports, sales of sugar-sweetened drinks have decreased over the past 20 years in several high-income nations. Companies are increasingly concentrating on low-and middle-income nations to make up for lost sales. The food business has favourable conditions in India. Ultra-processed food and drinks are promoted and advertised for billions of dollars, which encourages vulnerable communities to consume more of them. While the food business holds consumers responsible for their poor decisions, the environment around them, not the individuals, is to blame. It might be challenging for an individual to select healthy food selections since marketing appeals to younger generations and the expanding middle class.


Particularly young children are introduced to cartoon characters and offered rewards and presents.

Additionally, celebrities’ endorsements influence their purchasing choices.


The end consequence is a growing public health emergency brought on by diabetes, a ticking time bomb.

Drinks with added sugar are a significant source of extra sugar in diets and increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in people. Actions on policies and regulations are necessary in this situation.

The food business offers alliances and uses reasons for economic growth as “stakeholders” to argue against any limitations on marketing. Additionally, the food business engages in initiatives like “Eat Right” while making false claims. Because of these alliances, we are unable to enact significant regulations that would limit the use of ultra-processed foods and drinks. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India responded to the problem in a poor manner, gave the food sector a dominant position, and recommended front-of-package labelling, which has yet to be implemented. People should exercise, according to many.Diabetes epidemic in India

While this is beneficial for your health, it should also be done in conjunction with a regulatory strategy that restricts the marketing of highly processed foods and requires warning labels on junk food and beverages.


Guidelines that must be followed

Only by a legislative framework or even an ordinance (Article 123 of the Constitution) with the goal of limiting or stopping the use of ultra-processed foods can the government protect citizens from the manipulative practises of the food business. A definition of “healthy food,” a warning label on unhealthy food, and limitations on the promotion and marketing of harmful foods and beverages might also be included. People need to be made aware of the dangers of eating such food. There is no justification for working together in this process with the unhealthy food sector.

Similar measures have recently been implemented by the governments of Mexico, South Africa, and Norway. The Indian government may demonstrate its authority by policing food marketing and labelling. Such a statute will be a blatant illustration of the government’s intent. Commercial infant food production was slowed down by the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles, and Infant Foods Act. Unhealthy foods and beverages may also be subject to the new law under consideration. The time is now for this concept.

—-Dr. Abhishek Verma—

 

 


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