Centre's tweet raises furore

Experts caution government against dictating food choices of people.

Hyderabad: Is only a fruit and vegetable diet healthy? Is there no need of eggs, meat and pulses for your body? At least the ministry of health and family welfare appears to think so. A tweet on the official handle of the ministry suggests that those eating fruits and vegetables are being healthy while those eating burgers, meat, eggs etc are unhealthy.

The tweet was deleted by the ministry after it received flak from general public. The social media had also talked about how the graphic was stolen from an account on the internet.

Doctors, however, caution the government against dictating what people must eat and what they must not as geographical location, availability of foods, genetic make-up and likes and dislikes play a major role in eating habits.

Dr Sunil Kapoor, a senior cardiologist, explai-ned, “One cannot have a generalised diet for the whole world. Our body requires a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, pulses, protein, carbohydrates, fats and antioxidants. The diet changes from time to time based on individuals health problems. Hence after 40 years of age, many people are found to change their diet due to health reasons either obesity, diabetes, hypertension or any other ailments. Diet fads have come and gone and they have been equally harmful.”

Dr T. Narsinga Reddy, the president of Indian Medical Association of Telangana, explained, “Diets vary according to the season and also according to our geographical location. Like in summers, we insist that there is a lot of mineral loss. So more fruit juices and vegetables must be consumed. But in winters, we insist on the intake of more protein diets as it helps the body deal with the cold.

Similarly, the people from Rajasthan are found to eat more of pulses and they continue to do so even if they are in Telan-gana as they have been brought up in desert land where vegetables and fruits are very limited. Hence introducing fruits and vegetables into their food habits is a tough task.

Our food habits have a lot to do with the geographical location and it left a mark on our genetic make-up. Like a non-vegetarian is found to have cravings for non-vegetarian food and that can’t be denied to the body. Food habits must be balanced and healthy is what is important.”

Experts state that any type of food in excess is not good for the body. Intake of food is high for children who require a good amount of protein in their growing years and they can’t be denied that in their diet. A normal person who has no identified illness must eat a balanced diet.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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