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What's Triggering Health Problems in Urban India? With young professionals spending long hours at work, it's important to get them talk about the importance of nutrition and good eating habits

By Nidhi Singh

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India's urban people are the worst sufferers of mental stress and health disorders for their busy work schedule and job overload.

Urban youths don't get enough time and energy to adopt healthy food habits and hence miss out on important nutrients. Despite knowing about its harmful effects, they can't stop consuming junk as that's easily available and quick to eat.

With young people spending long hours at work, it's important to get them talk about the importance of nutrition and good eating habits. Their outlook towards diet and exercise need to change.

A recent report by Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) highlighted the diet and nutritional status of the urban population in India's 16 states.

To conduct a community–based study, a multi-stage random sampling procedure was adopted. A total of 1,71,928 individuals were covered in the survey for socio-demographic, economic status, anthropometry and clinical examination.

Below are some of the key points of the report:

Inadequate Nutrient Intake: The report stated that the average intake of macronutrients such as energy and protein and micronutrients like Iron, Thiamine, and Niacin were observed to be below the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), whereas the intake of Vitamin A and Riboflavin were grossly inadequate.

No Time to Exercise: Regular exercise is important for young people because it reduces the chances of obesity and other weight-related issues. However, the hectic schedules make it difficult to get time for exercise or any other physical activity. The study finds that on an average, more than 28 per cent of urban men were doing physical exercises like walking (21%), yoga (4%) and floor exercises (2%).

The Rising Hypertension Risk Among Youths: The report concluded that almost one-third to one-half of men and women were seen suffering from overweight and obesity-related issues. Also, one in every three urban men and women were observed to be suffering from hypertension. An important challenge among people dealing with hypertension is to follow healthier eating habits. The report said that consumption of high salt, high fat and high sugar diets like carbonated beverages, chips, and bakery foods etc. was observed to be high among urban population due to hypertension.

Changing Trends in the Lifestyle of Urban Youth: The report revealed that about 63 per cent of urban men were working more than 8 hours a day and 72 per cent of women were working less than eight hours a day. And most of them were doing office work in sitting posture at their workplace.

Women Do More Household Chores: Likewise, 15 per cent of urban women were participating in physical exercises like walking (11%) and yoga (3%). It added that 23 per cent of men and 12 per cent of women were doing physical exercises daily. The women's participation in physical activities was low because most women were found to be engaged in household activities like cooking, gardening, maintenance of the house, etc.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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