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Delhi, Ahmedabad top in consumption of added-fat: ICMR

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on February 21, 2020 Published on February 21, 2020

Contrary to popular belief, vegetarians consume more fat than non-vegetarians

Delhi and Ahmedabad topped the list of seven metro cities in daily average consumption of ‘added fat’ in dishes such as dal fry, stuffed paratha and mutton biryani, while Hyderabad was at the bottom of the list according to a recent survey.

The survey also revealed that men consume more fat at 34.1 gram per person daily, than women who consume 31.1 gram across seven cities — Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai.

The survey was carried out by Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Nutrition (ICMR-NIN) from the database of National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau study (2015-16), ICMR-NIN-Hyderabad. The analysis was supported by International Life Sciences Institute-India (ILSI-India).

Added fat was high in dishes such as dal fry, rice, stuffed paratha, chuduva, bisibele bath, and puliyodharai also known as tamarind rice. Mutton Birynai has more fat than chicken biryani or cereal-based and non-vegetarian recipes, it found.

According to the study, those who eat deep-fried food consumed more added fat than those who ate boiled and shallow-fried food. Also, almost all non-vegetarian foods, mostly consumed in urban areas, has high amounts of added fat, the study revealed.

PK Seth, the chairman of ILSI India, said added-fat consumption levels were significantly higher in Delhi at 44.4 gram per person daily and in Ahmedabad at 43.9 g. The average intake of added fat in Mumbai and Hyderabad were the lowest at 28.8 g per person daily and 25.1 g, he said.

The average intake of added fat in all the seven metro cities pooled together was 32.6 g, which was higher than ICMR-recommended levels at 20g. Overall, 18 per cent of the total intake of energy was obtained from visible fat, the survey found. About the methodology used for assessing added fat intake, A Laxmaiah, the head of the division of Public Health Nutrition in NIN, said they evaluated the intake of an assortment of food such as regular home-made food, packaged food, sweet-based preparations, bakery and biscuits, and milk products to come out with the quantum of added fat across a fairly large sample of 5,123 individuals from 1,293 households.

The data was collected by the National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau (NNMB) and analysed by the Division of Public Health Nutrition, NIN. The collated data was also used to measure gender-wise consumption of added fat. The highest intake of added fat was observed in the age group of 36 to 59 (36.1 g), followed by 18-35 age group (34.8 g) and adolescents (32.8 g). The least intake of added fat was noticed in children under the age of five (15.7).

The researchers noted that contrary to general belief, vegetarians consumed more fat (40.7 g) than non-vegetarians (30.2 g) in these seven metro cities.

“It is important that people are motivated to have a balanced diet, adopt healthy lifestyle, undertake physical activity, including Yoga,” Seth said.

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Published on February 21, 2020
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