As much as 68 per cent of food and beverage products currently available in the Indian food market have excess amounts of at least one ingredient of concern, namely salt, sugar, and saurated fats, according to a study.
Researchers from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) analysed 10,500 products that had provided complete nutrition information in the nutrition facts panel.
They found only 32 per cent are within the scientific thresholds recommended by the World Health Organisation's regional standards.
The finding demonstrates that the nutrient profile model (NPM) from the WHO Southeast Asian Regional Office (SEARO) is appropriate and practicable for the Indian ultra-processed food market and may encourage the industry to embrace science and evidence-based cut-offs on salt, sugar, and saturated fat.
NPM is a scientific method to categorise food and beverage items according to their nutritional composition with the ultimate aim of identifying and differentiating foods that are unhealthily high in salt, sugar, and saturated fats.
"Our study finds that applying the SEARO NPM cut-off points would result in 68 per cent of products in the market requiring at least one warning label. This is in stark contrast to an earlier study undertaken by Nutrition Alchemy, utilising a small dataset of 1,300 which found that 96 per cent of products would require a label.
This creates an erroneous impression that FOPL based on the SEARO NPM is not practicable and based on the ground reality," said co-author Dr Chandrakant S. Pandav, Professor and Head of the Department - Centre for Community Medicine, AIIMS.
Based on the "cut off" established by the NPM, the front-of-the-pack food label (FOPL) informs consumers in a fast and straightforward way whether a product contains excessive sugar, sodium, and saturated fat, helping them make a healthier choice.
India faces a rapidly escalating burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), particularly the rising incidence of nutrition related diseases such as diabetes, obesity among adults as well as an alarming increase in childhood obesity.
The country also clocks the highest growth rate for ultra-processed food and beverages items high in added sugar, salt and additives, besides being ultra-processed.
Over the past year, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India has been preparing to introduce a mandatory front-of-the-pack food label (FOPL) on all packaged foods which will require the food industry to ensure that ingredients of concern are within a certain threshold and also guide consumers towards making healthy choices. (agency)
Read More► Chef Sanjeev Kapoor's Vegetable Recommendations for Winter
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like Sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country.
Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of a different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing.
When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
Purple Mogri- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Sweet Potato- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Avarekalu- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Amla- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla - it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
Read More► 5 Superfoods to Boost Immunity in Kids
While most people have been affected by Covid-19 infections, some have naturally resisted the infectious disease, despite clearly being exposed to the virus.
According to researchers at the University College London, understanding this mechanism of resistance can lead to the development of universal vaccines against the debilitating virus, the BBC reported.
In the study published in the journal Nature, the team closely monitored hospital staff during the first wave of the pandemic -- including by taking regular blood samples.
The results showed one-in-10 had signs of being exposed, but never had symptoms, never tested positive, and never developed Covid-fighting antibodies in their blood.
This Covid-immunity likely came from the body learning how to fight viruses. Part of their immune system was able to get on top of the virus before it managed to take hold -- what's known as an "abortive infection", the team said.
Blood samples showed these people already had (as in before the pandemic) protective T-cells, which recognise and kill cells infected with Covid.
Their immune systems were already "poised" to fight the new disease, Dr Leo Swadling, one of the researchers was quoted as saying.
These T-cells were able to spot a different part of the virus than the bit most of the current vaccines train the immune system to find, the report said.
Vaccines are largely aimed at the spike protein, which covers the outer surface of the Covid virus. However, these rare T-cells were able to look inside the virus and find the proteins that are necessary for it to replicate.
"The healthcare workers that were able to control the virus before it was detectable were more likely to have these T-cells that recognise the internal machinery before the start of the pandemic," Swadling said.
These internal proteins are very similar in all related species of coronavirus, including the ones that are widespread and cause common cold symptoms. It means targeting these proteins with a vaccine could give some protection against all coronaviruses and new Covid variants.
Read More► People Inhale Up to 7,000 Microplastic Particles Daily: Study
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM), the apex trade association of the country, as part of its 'Illness to Wellness' campaign and in the light of the forthcoming 'World Diabetes Day' on Saturday unveiled a report on the findings of a National Level Survey conducted on the state of Diabetes in India.
The release was followed by a webinar on "Diabetes Free India" organized with the objective of cascading awareness and disseminating wisdom on diabetes management and its prevention, which was attended by a panel of eminent experts and doctors from across the country.
The survey report entitled "Diabetes in India" was produced by ASSOCHAM and the Delhi-based think tank, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI). The survey was designed and conducted by IMRB-Kantar and covered 2,33,672 people and 673 public health offices in 21 state clusters covering appropriate regions and age segments.
The key findings of the survey relate to the burden of diabetes and its primary causes or risk factors which lead to its rise and increasing spread in the country. According to the report, the prevalence of diabetes cases in India almost doubled from 42.6 million cases in 2005 to 85.4 cases in 2019.
Globally, on the other hand, the prevalence of diabetes increased from 273.4 cases in 2005 to 460 million cases in 2019. Small wonder then that India has the dubious distinction of becoming the global hub for diabetes cases with prevalence of cases increasing from 15.6 per cent to 18.6 per cent cases in the same interval.
Globally, diabetes accounts for 70.9 million DALYs (Disability-Adjusted Life Years) and 36.7 YLDs (Years Lived with Disability) in 2019. In India, diabetes accounts for 12.8 million DALYs, 6.7 million YLDs and 0.3 million deaths during the same time-period.
In terms of risk factors for diabetes, dietary habits related to high intake of junk / fried foods, most common in younger people today, has highest relative risk of 47 per cent. The next highest risk factors as elicited by the survey report relate to low physical activity (38 per cent), low intake of fruits and vegetables (28 per cent), and other causes such as stress, pollution, and high consumption of alcohol and carbonated/ sugary drinks.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs either when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin or when the body cannot effectively use the insulin it produces. Over the time, uncontrolled diabetes leads to serious body's systems damage, especially the nerves and blood vessels. There are ample studies conducted by RSSDI (Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India) which emphatically depict and highlights that diabetes is a major cause of blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation.
The survey outlines the prevalence landscape of diabetes in that it accounts for 25 per cent of all NCDs in India at a rate of 2.9 percent. The disease incidence increases significantly in individuals above 35 years of age and affects men more than women.
The report also finds that about 16.8 per cent of the male adult population (15 years) and 14.6 per cent of the female adult population (15 years) on average are estimated to be diabetic. Prevalence of diabetes is highest in southern states including Puducherry, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and lowest in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.
In terms of sufferers seeking treatment for diabetes, the survey presented some important insights in this regard too. About 7 per cent of the respondents who were suffering from diabetes stated that they were not seeking any treatment at all. However, more than 56 per cent of the respondents stated that they are seeking treatment for more than one year, a fact testifying to the indisputable and inevitable morbidity of this disease.
Diabetes is proven through studies to be associated with a high risk of cardiac arrest and there have been substantial increases in new cases of diabetes during the Covid-19 pandemic due to various reasons. In the current situation, diabetes has become a serious health concern since large numbers of patients are already vulnerable to the coronavirus.
Thus, diabetic patients affected by Covid-19 can cause a major health crisis. Reports show that large occurrence of diabetes makes it a serious comorbidity in Covid-19 patients. Diabetes also imposes a substantial burden on society in the form of higher medical costs, lost productivity, premature mortality, and intangible costs in the form of reduced quality of life.
Setting the tone for the panel discussion at the webinar, Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council, said: "This year marks the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin. It is, however, unfortunate that diabetes has been underrated as a global public health issue. This needs to be addressed on priority and we as a nation need to take urgent important steps to address this challenge. It is a fact that diabetes is one of the top three NCDs in India and with each year the burden of this disease is rising."
Dr. Banshi Saboo, President, Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), said: "Diabetes prevention must be part of a larger national mission. Students should be taught 'Health Science' as a subject in schools which can help in preventing this disease and creating awareness about healthy lifestyles among our future generations. We must also change the age limit for the cyclical three-year testing protocol for sugar from 30 years presently to 25 years of age."
Dr. (Col.) Sudhir Tripathi, Chairperson and HOD, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi, said: "Diabetes can be prevented even at the pregnancy stage. Healthy mothers give birth to healthy children. We must also educate and inform people that this disease is reversible with healthy lifestyle and timely interventions.
Babies who are healthier, not obese, have a far lesser risk of developing diabetes in adulthood. It is advised that we must now have a National Diabetes Month in November to spread awareness and access about diabetes amongst people."
Dr. Dinesh Agarwal, Senior Consultant Internist and Head of Department, Department of Medicine Marwari Hospitals, Vice Chairman, RSSDI Assam Chapter, said: "One of the key risk factors and causes of diabetes is stress and junk food. Even children undergo a huge amount of stress these days due to a highly competitive and strained environment.
It is a fact that stress leads to hormonal changes which in turn can trigger diabetes in individuals. Add to this the fact that lack of exercise among both children and adults lead to an onset of the disease which could have easily avoided by following simple steps."
Dr. Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director, Total Care Control, Delhi-NCR, said: "Diabetes free India is a dream for all of us. Diabetes, a chronic disease, has so many affected all of us either as families or as individuals. It is important to control this disease because not only does it cause many other diseases or co-morbidities and complications to take place, but also leads to a huge economic burden. The interesting aspect here is that 95 per cent of diabetes can be prevented, and it is important that we all work towards this."
The webinar was addressed by Shri Anil Rajput, Chairperson, ASSOCHAM CSR Council; Dr. Kaushik Dutta, Founder and Co-Director, Thought Arbitrage Research Institute (TARI), New Delhi and eminent doctors which included - Dr. Banshi Saboo, President, Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), Dr. (Col.) Sudhir Tripathi, Chairperson and HOD, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital New Delhi, Dr. Dinesh Agarwal, Senior Consultant Internist and Head of Department, Department of Medicine Marwari Hospitals, Vice Chairman, RSSDI Assam Chapter, and Dr. Rajesh Kesari, Founder and Director, Total Care Control, Delhi-NCR.
Read More► Is Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain Sciatica?
A new set of ready-to-cook nutraceutical-based items that will provide necessary dietary support to the patients of diabetes, obesity, chronic pains, and anemia among others will be the major attraction at the Ministry of Ayush’s stall at Hall No. 10 of the India International Trade Fair this year.
Nutraceuticals are largely the products derived from food sources with extra health benefits in addition to the basic nutritional value found in them. Packed in powder form, these recipes have been developed by the research scholars of All India Institute of Ayurveda (AIIA) under Mahabhaishajya, a proposed food start-up of the institute. AIIA is a research institute under the Ministry of Ayush.
“Along with medicines we need to take care of our diet also. Our ancient texts also contain such recipes,” said a senior Ministry of Ayush official.
These recipes include a candy, an appetizer, flour and a laddoo among others. The packets will have the method of preparation and the health benefits of these recipes mentioned on them.
Apart from the new recipes, nutritious and tasty food items based on Ayurveda dietetics, free consultation with AYUSH health practitioners, Yoga training, and attractive gifts for youngsters correctly answering interesting questions based on Indian traditional medicine systems will be other attractions at Ministry of Ayush’s stall. The visitors will also be able to taste various AYUSH foods such as Halwa Gheewar, Amla Murabba, Gulkand, and Unani Herbal Tea.
Trade Fair, as it is commonly known, is a mega event organised every year to promote trade and investment and provide a common platform to the manufacturers, traders, exporters and importers. While the first five days of the event, from November 14 to 18, will be reserved for traders and investors, the trade fair will open for general public on November 19.
Being organised in the 75th year of Independence under 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' campaign, IITF-2021 is based on ‘Atmnirbhar Bharat’ theme this year.
According to Ministry officials, there will be separate counters to promote the food products and medicines under various Ayush streams such as Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Siddha, Unani and Yoga and Naturopathy. Health practitioners of these streams will also provide free OPD consultation. The visitors will also have the opportunity to learn yoga from expert yoga trainers. There will be live demo of the Yoga protocol given in the Y-Break mobile application, which helps office works re-energise and rejuvenate themselves in just five minutes at their workplaces.
Read More► Fusion Yoga, Health Food Items at Ministry of Ayush’s Pavilion at IITF
भारत-अंतर्राष्ट्रीय व्यापार मेला (आईआईटीएफ)-2021 में हॉल नंबर-10 स्थित आयुष मंत्रालय के स्टॉल पर न्यूट्रास्युटिकल युक्त अर्थात औषधीय गुणों से भरपूर पौष्टिक वस्तुओं का एक नया समूह इस साल आकर्षण का केंद्र होगा, जो रेडी टू कूक है और यह मधुमेह, मोटापा, लंबे समय से दर्द की शिकायत तथा खून की कमी से पीड़िग मरीजों को आहार संबंधी जरूरी सहायता प्रदान करेगा।
न्यूट्रास्युटिकल्स मुख्य रूप से भोजन के स्रोतों से प्राप्त उत्पाद हैं जो मौलिक पोषण के अलावा अतिरिक्त स्वास्थवर्धक होते हैं। पाउडर के रूप में पैक किए गए व्यंजनों को अखिल भारतीय आयुर्वेद संस्थान (एआईआईए) के शोधार्थियों द्वारा संस्थान के एक प्रस्तावित खाद्य स्टार्ट-अप, महाभैषज्य के तहत विकसित किया गया है। एआईआईए आयुष मंत्रालय के अंतर्गत एक शोध संस्थान है।
आयुष मंत्रालय के एक वरिष्ठ अधिकारी ने कहा, “दवाओं के साथ-साथ हमें अपने आहार का भी ध्यान रखने की आवश्यकता होती है। हमारे प्राचीन ग्रंथों में भी ऐसी पाक-विधि का उल्लेख है।
इन व्यंजनों में एक कैंडी, एक क्षुधावर्धक, आटा और एक लड्डू व अन्य सामग्री शामिल हैं। पैकेट में इन व्यंजनों को बनाने की विधि और उनसे मिलने वाले स्वास्थ्य फायदे का उल्लेख होगा।
आयुष मंत्रालय के स्टाल पर नए व्यंजनों के अलावा, आयुर्वेद आहार विज्ञान पर आधारित पौष्टिक और स्वादिष्ट खाद्य पदार्थ, आयुष स्वास्थ्य चिकित्सकों के साथ मुफ्त परामर्श, योग प्रशिक्षण तथा भारतीय पारंपरिक चिकित्सा प्रणालियों पर आधारित दिलचस्प सवालों के सही जवाब देने वाले युवाओं के लिए आकर्षक उपहार अन्य आकर्षण होंगे। आगंतुक विभिन्न आयुष खाद्य पदार्थों जैसे हलवा घीवर, आंवला मुरब्बा, गुलकंद और यूनानी हर्बल चाय का स्वाद भी ले सकेंगे।
एक मेगा कार्यक्रम के तौर पर चर्चित व्यापार मेला का आयोजन हर साल व्यापार और निवेश को बढ़ावा देने तथा विनिर्माताओं, व्यापारियों, निर्यातकों और आयातकों को एक आम मंच प्रदान करने के लिए किया जाता है। मेले के आयोजन के पहले पांच दिन 14 से 18 नवंबर तक व्यापारियों और निवेशकों के लिए आरक्षित रहेंगे, जबकि 19 नवंबर को व्यापार मेला आम जनता के लिए खुलेगा।
आजादी के 75वें वर्ष में ’आजादी का अमृत महोत्सव’ अभियान के तहत आयोजित होने वाला आईआईटीएफ-2021 इस वर्ष ’आत्मनिर्भर भारत’ थीम पर आधारित है।
मंत्रालय के अधिकारियों के अनुसार, मेले में होम्योपैथी, आयुर्वेद, सिद्ध, यूनानी और योग व प्राकृतिक चिकित्सा जैसी आयुष की विधाओं के तहत खाद्य उत्पादों और दवाओं को बढ़ावा देने के लिए अलग-अलग काउंटर होंगे।
इन विधाओं की स्वास्थ्य सेवा से जुड़े चिकित्सक भी निःशुल्क ओपीडी परामर्श प्रदान करेंगे। आगंतुकों को विशेषज्ञ योग प्रशिक्षकों से योग सीखने का भी अवसर मिलेगा। वाई-ब्रेक मोबाइल एप्लीकेशन में दिए गए योग प्रोटोकॉल का लाइव डेमो दिया जाएगा जिससे कार्यालय में काम करने वालों को उनके कार्यस्थलों पर ही सिर्फ पांच मिनट में ऊर्जावान बनने में मदद मिलेगी।
यह भी पढ़े► भारतीय अंतर्राष्ट्रीय व्यापार मेला में आयुष मंत्रालय का पवेलियन