71% Indians cannot afford a healthy meal and over 1.7 million people die every year due to diseases attributable to poor diet, according to a report released by the Centre for Science and Environment and Down to Earth magazine.
The report titled “State of India’s Environment 2022: In Figures” said that the diet of an average Indian does not contain enough fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.
The e-report was released online Friday to mark the approaching World Environment Day.
Poor dietary habits led to respiratory ailments, diabetes, cancer, strokes and coronary heart disease, it added.
An Indian aged 20 and above consumes only 35.8 grams of fruit per day as against the recommended 200 grams every day. Adults in India eat just 168.7 grams of vegetables per day but the minimum recommended consumption is 300 grams per day.
The report points out that 42 per cent of the world’s population cannot afford a healthy diet.
The report also presents an analysis of food prices. It says that the consumer food price index (CFPI) inflationhas seen a 327 per cent increase in the past year, while the consumer price index (CPI) – whichincludes CFPI — has seen an 84 per cent jump.
India’s consumer price index or retail inflation hit an eight-year high of 7.79% in April.
Says Richard Mahapatra, managing editor, Down To Earth: “Food seems to be the biggest mover of CPI inflation. The current high levels of food inflation have been driven by therising cost of production, surging international crop prices and extreme weather-related disruptions. In fact, our analysis of CRISIL data shows that food prices haveincreased at a higher rate in ruralareas than in urban areas in March-April 2022.”