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Amritsari Punjabis susceptible to diabetes

Written by: Staff

Ludhiana, Nov 21 (UNI) If you are a Punjabi and also an Amritsari, watch out on your calorie intake, you could be diabetic.

Amritsaris are fond of eating foods high in fat and sugar. Both contribute to a high calorie diet, making them more susceptible to diabetes.

According to a study by Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), lifestyle factors play an important role in degenerative diseases like diabetes and coronary heart diseases. Food and Nutrition Department researchers Rajvinder Kaur Kang, Rita Jain and Paramjit Chawla in a study at Amritsar district have observed that 70 per cent of the surveyed persons attributed their diabetes to ''family history''.

Of them, 30-odd diabetics were in the age group of 30 years to 50 years living in posh areas of the holly city. Head of the Department of Food and Nutrition Dr Subhashni Verma said diabetes mellitus (Sugar) is a metabolic disorder where body's capacity to utilise sugar, fat and protein is disturbed due to either insulin deficiency or resistance.

In fact, she said, incidence of non-insulin dependent diabetes is higher than insulin dependent diabetes. While diabetes mellitus is hereditary, the non-insulin dependent can affect any individual.

The Amritsar survey showed that the most common and frequent symptoms observed in the sampled 30 diabetics, equal number of males and females, 73 per cent complained of tiredness, 60 per cent of polydipsia (feeling thirsty), 47 per cent of polyphagia (feeling hungry), 40 per cent of burning sensation under feet and 37 per cent of headache.

The survey revealed the high calorie diet prevalent in the city made them vulnerable to diabetes. Their eating capacity was found to be far higher than the recommended dietary allowance. The average weight of the subjects was higher as compared to reference standard weight and 40 per cent of them were obese.

According to Dr Verma, India will be ''diabetes capital'' of the world by 2025. At present, one out of five Indians is diabetic. At present, half of the population in India is below 25 years. Diabetes can strike at any age, particularly, non-insulin dependent diabetes.

It is estimated that the number of diabetes cases in developing countries will rise to 284 million in 2030 from 115 million in 2000.

Also, diabetes is responsible for one in 20 deaths, worldwide.

The Food Science Nutrition scientists are making endeavours to educate and create awareness among the fraternity to keep distance from 'sugar', the operative word when one talks of diabetes studies show that India is a world leader in consuming sugar where sweets are ubiquitous on social occasions.

Dr Verma said, a FICCI sponsored food and beverages survey-2006, revealed that sweet shops form the largest sector in country's food and beverages industry, accounting for nearly Rs 57,750 crore sector.

It was high time to plan and implement services for controlling diabetes, Dr Verma said adding that nutrition education should be imparted to persons with family history of the discase.


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