Desire For Looking Hot Raises Malnutrition Figures Says Gujarat CM Narendra Modi
Health is certainly not wealth for Gujarat says its shinning chief minister Narendra Modi. When asked to give a reason for the undernourished children and 55% anemic women in Gujarat, its Chief Minister chose to blame the beauty and fashion scenario. "The middle class is more beauty-conscious than health-conscious-that is a challenge," were his exact words which left his interviewer as well as entire India stunned with disbelief.
What Are The Facts?
The highly industrialized and one of richest state of India falls woefully short when it comes to health and nutrition of its population. The 'National Family Health Survey' figures place the state with the fastest growing GDP rate of India as behind even the poorest state of India vis-à-vis health issues. Almost 41% of the children under 3 are malnourished while the women between the ages of 15 to 45 show a deficiency of iron and folic acid which makes them anemic.
Is Beauty To Be Blamed?
Modi’s statement might have left India reeling with shock and disbelief but this is certainly something to think about. True, the upper socio-economic classes in Gujarat and elsewhere have a lopsided and unreal idea about beauty. Bollywood stars have endorsed the fact the thinner you are, the more glamorous you would be and Gujarati girls are pursuing it with a fierce single minded determination. As Modi rightly pointed out the young girls refuse to drink milk or allow any nutritious food to pass their lips for fear of becoming obese. Dieting has also been linked to various eating disorders which leave the girls under nourished. However, the nutritionists do not agree in entirety to this cause of malnutrition. After all, the well-to-do of Gujarat can afford to include protein drinks and dietary supplements in their daily meals thereby taking care of health. Here are some tips that teen aged girls can try out.
No Meat Please
Vegetarianism is yet another aspect pointed out by Modi. Most medicos and dieticians agree that animal protein is the best way to replenish your bodily nutrients as well as repair your muscle tissues. Growing children also need adequate amounts of proteins and minerals but being a vegetarian does not automatically make you malnourished. You do need to incorporate the alternatives such as high protein alternatives such as soy , lentils , and green vegetables . Fruits and yogurt which are usually a part of Gujarati thali meals, supply the body with essential vitamins and minerals as do the seasonal vegetables. Vegetarianism has been long associated with the State with even Mahatma Gandhi supporting it. The Gujarati save learnt the secret of remaining healthy while remaining faithful to their dietary restrictions. It is certainly not a major issue when it comes to nutrition and health.
The CM of Gujarat is currently being touted as the next Prime Ministerial candidate. But he should definitely learn how not to put his foot in his mouth when asked uncomfortable questions. Health and nutrition has clearly not been his priority so far but he would certainly have to look into this issue before he thinks of moving on to a greater role. Are you listening Mr. Modi?
Image Credit- balance.dietxnutrition; figuregirlworld