According to ‘What India Eats’ report published by the ICMR-National Institute of Nutrition, a meager five percent of rural Indians and 18 percent of the urban populace in the country consume the recommended amount of good quality proteins. While it is recommended that carbohydrates-rich cereals should contribute just 45 percent of a day’s energy and the rest must be from other foods, the report says that cereals contribute to 51 percent of energy among urban Indians and 65 percent among rural Indians. Only 8.8% of rural Indians eat enough vegetables.
In contrast to this, high protein foods such as pulses, legumes, nuts, meat, poultry, and fish contribute just 11 percent of daily energy needs, whereas the recommended value is 17 percent. Another worrying fact is that only 8.8 percent rural and 17 percent urban Indians consume vegetables in the required quantities, whereas just 8.7 percent rural and 14.3 percent urban Indians consume the recommended quantity of milk.
The report also says that junk food like chips, biscuits, and chocolates contribute to around 11 percent of the energy needs among the rural and urban Indians. NIN Director Dr. R Hemalatha points out that while lower consumption of milk and milk products is associated with increased risk of hypertension, adequate consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of diabetes.