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71% of Indians Unable to Afford a Healthy Diet: Report

71% of Indians cannot afford a healthy diet and more than 1.7 million die each year from poor diet-related illnesses, according to a report from the Center for Science and Environment and Down to Earth magazine.

A report entitled "State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures" states that the average Indian diet does not contain enough fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains. On Friday, a digital report was posted online to commemorate World Environment Day.

Poor eating habits caused respiratory disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke and coronary artery disease, she added.

Indians over the age of 20 eat only 35.8 grams of fruit per day, compared to the recommended 200 grams per day. Adults in India eat only 168.7 grams of vegetables per day, but the recommended minimum intake is 300 grams per day.

The report points out that 42 percent of the world's population cannot afford a healthy diet. The report also includes an analysis of food prices. Inflation in the Consumer Price Index (CFPI) rose 327% last year, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI), including CFPI, rose 84%. India's consumer price index or retail inflation rate reached a record high of 7.79% in eight years in April. Richard Mahapatra, Editor-in-Chief of Down To Earth, said: Current high levels of food inflation are caused by rising production costs, rising international crop prices and turmoil associated with extreme weather events. In fact, according to an analysis of CRISIL data, food prices were higher in rural areas than in urban areas in March / April 2022.

The theme of World Environment Day 2022 has been “Only One Earth”. Apart from severe health crises such as COVID-19, the world is also facing the plight of climate change and global warming. As this report proves that one of the reasons behind food inflation is rising crop prices due to extreme weather events in the past months of 2022, we need to consider the importance of nutrition as well as the environmental crises. The agriculture and food sector directly depends upon Earth, the “only one earth” which we have.


Photo Source: Tom Pietrasik


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