New Delhi: Indians are consuming high levels of oils, fats and salts in their daily diets, exposing themselves to Non-Communicable Diseases, including coronary heart ailments, hypertension and diabetes, says a new report. The intake of high fibre foods like fruits and vegetables which act as a shield against NCDs, is very low in India as compared to the recommended level of five servings or at least 400 grams daily, a publication by the Public Health Foundation of India, said. By contrast, oil intake increased a whopping 50 per cent--from 18 grams a day in 1992 to 27 grams a day in 2005, while fat intake rose from 41 to 52 grams over the same period. High income groups have reported 32 per cent of their energy intake from fats alone, as against 17 per cent among low income groups, it said. The publication, brought out on the eve of the first-ever UN High-Level Summit on NCDs beginning in New York on Monday, said protein consumption remained stagnant at 56 grams a day over the stated period while carbohydrate intake reduced from 75 to 71 grams a day. Salt consumption, a strong determinant of high blood pressure and associated cardio-vascular diseases, has also been found to be very high across different regions of thecountry, with the average intake ranging from 9 to 12 grams a day, much above the WHO recommended daily intake level of 5 grams or less and the National Institute of Nutrition`s recommended level of 6 grams or less. Urban salt intake is much higher and is further set to increase due to rapid expansion of multi-national food chains, increasing the trend of eating out and easy availability ofready made foods, the report said. "Processed foods are anticipated to become a major sourceof salt intake in India, making it imperative for the government to initiate appropriate preventive public healthaction," the report titled `Chronic Non-Communicable Diseasesin India: Reversing the Tide`, said. It also reveals an increasing trend in edible oil consumption in India, which has risen from 5.8 million tonnes in 1990-92 to 9.7 million tonnes in 2000-2001 and further to14.3 million tonnes in 2007-08, with a high proportion ofunhealthy oils, high in saturated and trans fats.
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