Jun 30, 2021, 03:02PM ISTSource: ANI

Leading doctors from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) have called for a systemic approach to manage the rapidly rising prevalence of diabetes in the country, with particular emphasis on policy actions to establish science-based limits on salt, sugar and saturated fats in packaged and ultra-processed food and beverages. The doctors emphasised on this in the backdrop of the devastating second wave of Covid-19, as there is growing evidence that diabetics are likely to have poorer treatment outcomes and could be at a greater risk of fatalities from COVID-19. According to the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), India, with more than 77 million diabetics, has the second-highest number of people suffering from this chronic condition in the world. Dr Sanjeev Mishra cautioned that this number will double in the next 25 years. A nutritious diet that eliminates or caps the amount of sugar, salt and saturated fats consumed, has long been considered the mainstay of diabetes management. According to Dr Mittal, lab studies have revealed that sugar is as addictive as cocaine and it increases insulin production, driving up fat storage causing damage to all organ systems. The ultra-processed food industry has grown at a record pace in India which is also second among the top five global markets for sugary beverages. Studies have shown that despite the need to promote and adopt healthy diets, particularly in the wake of this pandemic, multinational food companies have continued to promote unhealthy, ultra-processed foods and sugary drinks with no governmental limits on any of the harmful ingredients.