Nutrient intake in North India not at par with recommended levels: Study

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New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) The intake of essential nutrients like sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and protein is either lower or higher than recommended levels in the northern states in India, according to a study.

These nutrients play a significant role in the development of non-communicable diseases like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and chronic kidney disease — fast-growing health challenges in the country, said the researchers at The George Institute for Global Health India, in collaboration with the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh, in a statement on Monday.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, showed a higher-than-recommended dietary intake of salt and phosphorus while relatively low protein and potassium consumption.

“A poor nutritious diet is a major risk element for non-communicable diseases (NCD), which are of considerable public health concern. In India, people eat different foods, so it is important to know exactly what nutrients they are getting to help prevent and manage these diseases” said lead author Prof. Vivekanand Jha, Executive Director, The George Institute for Global Health, India, in the statement.

“The high salt intake and low potassium intake point to the need to develop interventions targeted to individuals and societies,” he added.

The findings are based on 400 adults, who included both the healthy and those with early-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD). The team utilised 24-hour urinary excretion analysis to assess nutrient intake.

Their results also revealed that men exhibited higher nutrient intake compared to women.

The team emphasised the need for personalised changes in diet to reduce the risks of common NCDs. Better information on food labels, reducing salt in processed foods, and encouraging people to eat more fruits and vegetables rich in potassium may be key to curb the rising NCDs in the country, the researchers said.



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