Men exhibit higher nutrient intake than women in North India: Study

A poor nutritious diet is a major risk element for non-communicable diseases, which are of considerable public health concern

By Anoushka Caroline Williams  Published on  13 March 2024 5:18 AM GMT
Men exhibit higher nutrient intake than women in North India: Study
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Hyderabad: A recent study has revealed gender disparities in dietary habits between men and women across North India.

Conducted by researchers at The George Institute for Global Health India, in collaboration with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, the study sheds light on the dietary habits of the North Indian population.

Focusing on the intake of sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein, the study aimed to understand their impact on the risk of developing non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease (CKD) – fast-growing health challenges in the country.

The meticulous analysis revealed some alarming trends: excessive salt consumption surpassing recommended levels, inadequate potassium intake, and protein consumption below the recommended level.

What was more alarming was the disparity in dietary habits. The study pointed out that men exhibited higher nutrient intake compared to women.

Methodology and Findings

Published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, the study involved over 400 adult participants, including both healthy adults and those with early-stage CKD. Utilizing 24-hour urinary excretion analysis, the researchers assessed nutrient intake, considering it a more accurate method compared to dietary recall due to its reduced susceptibility to memory-related errors.

Expert Insights

Commenting on the findings, Prof. Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, India, emphasized the significance of addressing these dietary imbalances. "A poor nutritious diet is a major risk element for non-communicable diseases, which are of considerable public health concern. In India, people eat different foods, so it is important to know exactly what nutrients they are getting to help prevent and manage these diseases," he said.

Implications and Recommendations

The study underscores the importance of accurate dietary assessments in providing personalized advice and developing effective policies to mitigate the risks associated with NCDs. Prof. Jha highlighted the urgency for public awareness campaigns, individual counseling, and food policy reforms, emphasizing the need for dietary guidelines tailored to local areas.

Insights from Hyderabad Doctors

Local doctors in Hyderabad echoed the significance of the study's findings. Dr. K. Srinivas, a cardiologist at a leading hospital in Hyderabad, emphasized the need for proactive measures to combat NCDs. He stated, "These findings underscore the critical importance of adopting healthier dietary habits to reduce the risk of NCDs, including hypertension and cardiovascular disease. Public awareness campaigns and policy interventions are essential to promote healthier eating habits."

Dr. Renuka Reddy, a nephrologist specializing in kidney health, emphasized the relevance of the study's findings in the context of chronic kidney disease. She stated, "Diet plays a crucial role in the prevention and management of chronic kidney disease. The study's findings highlight the need for targeted dietary interventions to reduce the risk of CKD progression in North Indian populations."

“The study's findings provide valuable insights into the dietary habits of North Indian populations and underscore the need for concerted efforts to address dietary imbalances and mitigate the risks of NCDs. By promoting healthier eating habits and implementing targeted interventions, stakeholders can work towards fostering a healthier future for communities across North India” said Reddy.

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