dietary pattern is the primary cause of obesity and overweight among people
living in the urban slums of Delhi, indicates a new study published in the
journal BMC Nutrition.
analyzed dietary patterns of as many as 260 households in a low-income
community in Chanderpuri in the capital state of India. The results of the study highlight the poor dietary diversity with
cereals and fats based diet.
The study assumes significance as more than
half of the population in the state lives in urban slums.
‘More than half of the population in an urban slum of Delhi are obese or overweight, and the current poor dietary patterns should be blamed for this. The study found an increase in intake of more energy- dense foods, particularly trans-fats but food was low in micro-nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.’
Normally a person's
nutritional state is such that the energy intake equals the energy expenditure
even if they are low
and have low body energy stores. CED is a measure of the
in a community.
The study showed that the prevalence of chronic energy
deficiency (CED) was about 2.3% of males and 5.3% for females. More than half
of the participants, approximately 66.7% were overweight or obese. The prevalence of both overweight and obesity was higher
in female participants (34.1% overweight; 16.6% obesity) as compared to males
(11.4 % overweight; 4.5 % obesity).
The people in
the studied community were mainly non-vegetarians and majority of the adults
and children consumed two main meals a day. Most respondents reported using a combination of some refined vegetable
oil along with desi ghee or butter as a cooking medium daily.
Around 56% of
households (HHs) reported using 2 or more cooking mediums. The most common
cooking medium was refined vegetable oil. The participants consumed snacks that
were either homemade or market item. Most
of the snacks analyzed were identified to hold trans fatty acids (TFA) ranging
from 0.26 - 22.96% of total fatty acids.
Consumption of commercially
prepared snacks was the primary source of trans fats
in the diets of the study community.
Researchers at the Indian Institute of Public Health,
Delhi, conclude that an overall contribution of commercially prepared food
towards fat intake of poor quality is a cause for concern.
This emphasizes the definite impact of urbanization and nutrition
transition across diverse communities. Policies should include approaches that
raise awareness on healthy diet and lifestyle practices with importance on
quantity and quality of nutrient intake. This is, even more, imperative in
communities that may have low awareness of disease implications and limited
resources for and access to healthier options.
results on intakes of different food groups are consistent with earlier studies
showing an inadequate intake of pulses, roots and tubers, other vegetables,
green leafy vegetables (GLVs) and fruits but a higher intake than advised of
milk and sugars in adults. Though the
consumption of cereals, meats, fats, and sugars were adequate, intake of pulses
and milk along with very low intakes of vegetables, roots and tubers, green
leafy vegetables and fruits were low.
Significantly, none of the participants met the
recommended intake for vegetables of 500gm per day.
A high median meat and meat products consumption indicate the effect
of the nutrition transition in food consumption pattern. Though these are good
sources of protein
in the diet, they may contribute to high saturated
fat intake and increase the risk of non-communicable diseases.
The macronutrient (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrate)
intake was adequate, but micronutrient intakes were below the recommended
More than two- thirds of the study
population had inadequate vitamin
and riboflavin intake while almost half of the population showed
inadequate folate (a salt or ester of folic acid) intake.
Recent surveys also indicate a change in the food
consumption in urban areas over a period 1993-2009 with an increase in intake
of more energy- dense foods, particularly fats
Other studies have also shown inadequate intake of folate, vitamin A and iron
in adults and young adolescents in urban and rural North India.
Archna Singh, Vidhu Gupta, Arpita Ghosh, Karen
Lock, Suparna Ghosh-Jerath http://bmcnutr.biomedcentral.com/ DOI 10.1186/s40795-015-0018-6