Chennai: White rice consumption in various forms, intake of heavy foods as snacks, and the lack of any form of exercise has resulted in Chennai being awarded the title of 'the city with the worst eating pattern among all metros', according to a survey by Indian digital platform fitness company HealthifyMe.
The survey found that not only do Chennaites have a high rate of carbohydrate consumption, but also that the intake of fruits and vegetables is lower in Tamil Nadu as compared to the national average.
“From the survey, we found that people in Chennai consume an inordinate amount of rice. A component of rice is curd rice - which is also a great carbohydrate contributor. Curd rice and sambar are popular lunch items and dosa sambar is the most popular breakfast/snack item in the state. Also, samosas are typically consumed during snack time. Lunch and dinner are the greatest contributors to the carbohydrates, making rice the biggest culprit,” said co-founder and CEO of the application, Tushar Vashisht.
Making curd rice, a dish that many families love and consume ever so often, has been found to be an easy affair. “Making curd rice is very simple and less time consuming. It is also easier to carry as all we need to pack with it is some pickle,” said Meenakshi, a receptionist at an institute.
With rice being the number one contributor to carbohydrates, it was found that it overshadows everything by a very large degree. “It is not just rice. People in Chennai eat a lot of rice-based substances as well. 'Rice' is perhaps the single biggest reason and people's over-dependency on it has led to a high incidence of diabetes in the city, especially among women,” said Isaac, who also works with HealthyfyMe.
“One's diet should also include fruits and vegetables. Excessive consumption of rice should be avoided, while the need for exercise should be recognised,” said Diabetologist Dr. S. Aravindan.
“A lot of reports have been highlighted previously on the high burden of diabetes in the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai has been witnessing rapid urbanisation in the last decade and also an exponential increase in IT services with sedentary lifestyles. People are not realising that their lifestyles are becoming more and more sedentary a result of which there is sugar accumulation, which results in increasing obesity and particularly high risk of diabetes in the city,” added Tushar.
Stating that the state subsidises rice and sugar, he added that we must reduce the dependency we have on carbs and government subsidies on that should perhaps rest. “People should use food that can help calibrate their nutritional intake better and they should track their lifestyles and monitor what they consume,” he opined.