Food experts feel that the processed foods which are being sold by multinational companies are raising undernutrition and obesity in the country. According to experts, chips, biscuits, and snack packets have replaced proper meals in both rural and urban populations.
Dr. Vandana Prasad National Convenor, Public Health Resource Network (PHRN) said in a three day global meet, “The region is seeing a rapid transition to a new situation where it faces a ‘double burden of malnutrition’ whereby gains related to reduction in undernutrition, are being undermined by an increase in overweight and obesity.”
Dr. Vandana Prasad was addressing the conference on Critical Public Health Consequences of the Double Burden of Malnutrition and the Changing Food Environment in South and South East Asia. According to her, “There are common roots to both these issues and they lie in the maldevelopment that we have engaged in this country.”
Undernutrition is the root cause of many non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiac disease, strokes and certain cancers.
Children are also getting undernutrition diet due to this packaged food and it has increased the risk of obesity and non-communicable disease in the later part of children’s life.
More than 250 researchers attended this seminar with an aim to positively influence the right to food and nutrition.
Dr. Rashmi Avula, of International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), stated “Around 39% of Indian children are stunted and more than a third of women and men are now overweight or obese. We have to look at all these issues through an inequity lens. It’s really important to fill the inequity gap. We cannot let the inequity grow.”