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Millions of people die Every Year due To Poor Diet in India

Seventy-one per cent of Indians cannot afford a healthy diet and 1.7 million die each year from diseases attributable to poor diet in India, according to a report published by the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) and Down to Earth magazine.

Diseases attributable to dietary risk factors include respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease, according to the “State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures” report.

The report refers to diets low in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and diets high in processed meats, red meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

“Seventy-one per cent of Indians cannot afford a healthy diet. The global average is 42 per cent,” he said, citing the 2021 Global Nutrition Report. The diet of an average Indian lacks fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Fish, dairy and red meat consumption are on target, he said.

According to the report, the diet of an average Indian lacks enough fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains. It has also come to light that the practices and systems associated with these foods are also having an impact on the environment. It has been found that where milk production is responsible for a large proportion of agricultural emissions and land use. At the same time, fresh water is used on a large scale for the production of cereals, and because of this, harmful elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus are released into the atmosphere.

CSE has also mentioned the coming inflation in the Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) in this report. Significantly, in the last year it has registered an increase of 327 per cent. At the same time, the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which includes the CFPI, has seen an increase of 84 per cent.

In this regard, Richard Mohapatra, Managing Editor of Down to Earth, says that “Food is the largest contributor to inflation in the CPI. If noted, the current high level of food inflation is attributed to the rising cost of production, rising international crop prices, and weather conditions. Between March and April 2022, food prices in rural areas have risen much more than in urban areas.”

According to the report, despite some progress, even today the diet available to most people in the country is not nutritious. Along with this, it is also putting more pressure on the environment. However, if we look at the nutritional status, the level of malnutrition in the country is much higher.

If this continues, then health, the environment and the economy will have to pay a heavy price. On the other hand, if you look at the global food system, it is way behind in achieving the global goals set for both environment and health.

“The data regenerates debates and discussions. The State of India’s Environment 2022: In Numbers reiterates this every year. Brings you the state of India’s environment, quantified. This year marks a milestone for both India and the planet. India is celebrating its 75th year of Independence and we have the promise of a “New India” with quantified development goals to meet. (Poor Diet in India)

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Stockholm conference, the first UN meeting on the human environment. This report tries to do justice to both: assessing whether the promised “New India” will come true (in the case of the former). And documenting and analyzing (in the case of the latter) how the planet’s environment has been in the last 50 years”, adds Mahapatra.

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