India is not eating healthy
An Eminent Wellness Promoter Caught in ‘Pizza Trauma’
Dr. Ruby Bansal is in trauma. You may laugh off to know the cause for it. It may seem to you a mock epic of sorts. Only the other day she was compelled to take her son to a pizza joint as a treat for his birth day. Which is what is tormenting her day in and day out. In her capacity as head of Wellness and AIDS Center at Pushpanjali Crosslay, a state of art hospital in Vaishali, she daily lectures the visiting mothers about keeping their sons or daughters away from junk food if they want them to grow healthy. The fact that she herself has failed to practice what she preaches has escalated her distress all the more. She had to take her son to a Pizza Hut, which she considers ‘mother’ of all junk food.
Dr. Ruby Bansal, well known wellness protagonist’ says she is suffering from a guilt feeling. ‘I tried to dissuade him but had to yield to his insistence at last. I will not be able to pardon myself if he ever developed some ailment in future due to these eatables.’ Dr. Ruby rues the fact that while western countries’ children have learnt to start shunning junk food and aerated sugary beverages, Indian children are increasingly getting drawn to them. She says, desperation writ large on her face, ‘Something must be done and urgently to extricate our children from the vice like grip of junk food and colas and instill in them the habit of eating lot of fruits on their birth days. Else, all talk of health awareness is a sheer nonsense’
Dr. Ruby Bansal’s trauma truly exemplifies enormity of the problem and underlines the tough task that the government mouthing Healthy India as its avowed aim has on its hand. If Swastha Bharat (healthy India) is really the vision and, if the Union health minister is also Swasthyavardhan ( as he was named by Atal Behari Vajpayee) along with his real name Dr. Harshvardhan, the problem of junk food and aerated drinks must be prominently on his radar. He must prioritize most to fight the menace of junk food and aerated drinks. They are eating into the vitals of our future generation.
Union budget presented not long ago bespoke of government’s unprecedented good intent on health for sure. It boosted the sentiments of health experts. It escalated tax heftily on tobacco and excise duty by 5 percent on aerated drinks. In the present sedate life style scenario, the combination of tobacco and these eatables is a recipe for heart ailment, diabetes and other chronic diseases. But junk and cola company majors are lurking around to enter somehow into government’s food chain itself. Health experts looked askance at recent bonhomie between Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Pepsico CEO Indra Nui. The junk food major official proposed even partnering with government in its pursuit to deliver nutrition to poor populace. Kaur is also said to have asked Pepsi to develop food products that can be integrated with government’s mid-day meals program in rural India. Health experts opine that junk food major should never be trusted for nutrition. The company must have some ulterior motive to perpetuate its unhealthy products. Their nutritional gestures have been exposed many a time.
All talk on nutrition and promotion of health prompted by junk and cola companies should be taken with pinch of salt. Hypocrisy is their hallmark.
According to the new guidelines of WHO, intervention must be made at school level to avert life style diseases later on in life. For this to happen, foods low on saturated fats, trans- fatty acid, free sugar and salt should be the norm. Cola and chips majors are desperate to new markets in view of its shrinking markets in Europe and North America. They are eyeing vast Indian market with greed and come in different enticing shapes and sizes. The only advisory for the government – Beware of them.