South India radius
India’s diabetes rate has jumped 123% since 1990
A global health survey showed that rates of diabetes among Indians has grown at an alarming rate since the early years of the country’s emergence as a world power.
Between 1990 and 2013, India saw instances of diabetes grow by 123%, with researchers attributing this to the way lifestyles have changed over that time.
The study looked at 301 acute and chronic diseases and injuries in 188 countries, finding that developing nations like India and China are now mimicking a trend that had began earlier in Western nations.
The biggest increase the researchers observed was in Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of the disease which is most often linked to obesity.
Endocrinologist Anoop Misra told Times of India that diabetes was an escalating problem in India and had major socio-economic dimensions.
“Rapid dietary changes coupled with decreased level of physical activity have resulted in increasing obesity and diabetes in rural and semi-urban areas,” Dr Misra said.
Diabetes did no feature in the top 10 of India’s diseases in 1990, whereas it is the country’s eighth-biggest killer.
Maggi case should begin new era of food vigilance
A leading food safety official has urged India’s government to view the recent Maggi noodles affair as the beginning of a new era of food safety vigilance.
Thuppil Venkatesh, a senior government advisor and expert in lead poisoning, said the “public clamour” that followed after a state’s testing allegedly found monosodium glutamate and lead in Maggi noodles should initiate a campaign against unhealthy food in general.
He also called for greater self-regulation by manufacturers and better awareness among the public about how much food safety testing takes place behind the scenes.
“The heated discussion on the presence of lead in food products, kicked off by the Maggi fiasco, should go on,” Venkatesh said, adding that Maggi’s research could achieve what it would take the authorities 20 years to do.
“Educate school teachers, who will educate the students. Then, the children will educate the family members, who will in turn educate society.”
Uniform packaging standards on the horizon
India will soon get uniform food packaging standards in a bid to increase and simplify exports.
According to FnB News, the commerce ministry ordered the Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) to lay out new standards, particularly to cover fruit and vegetables.
“In a recent meeting with exporters, it was concluded that there is a need to have a standardisation on packaging of food products which will bring about rationalisation in terms of costs that can be offered uniformly with the setting of uniform standards in packaging,” the IIP’s chief told the website.
The guidelines are being finalised with the help of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. Once complete, they will be submitted to the commerce ministry for approval and implementation.