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Sugar Intake, Obesity, and Diabetes in India

by Seema Gulati 1,2 and Anoop Misra 1,2,3,4,*
Diabetes Foundation (India), Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi 110016, India
Center of Nutrition & Metabolic Research (C-NET), National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol Foundation (N-DOC), Safdarjung Development Area, New Delhi 110016, India
Fortis C-DOC Center for Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Disease and Endocrinology, New Delhi-110048, India
Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi 110067, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2014, 6(12), 5955-5974;
Received: 4 August 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 22 December 2014
Sugar and sweet consumption have been popular and intrinsic to Indian culture, traditions, and religion from ancient times. In this article, we review the data showing increasing sugar consumption in India, including traditional sources (jaggery and khandsari) and from sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs). Along with decreasing physical activity, this increasing trend of per capita sugar consumption assumes significance in view of the high tendency for Indians to develop insulin resistance, abdominal adiposity, and hepatic steatosis, and the increasing “epidemic” of type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular diseases. Importantly, there are preliminary data to show that incidence of obesity and T2DM could be decreased by increasing taxation on SSBs. Other prevention strategies, encompassing multiple stakeholders (government, industry, and consumers), should target on decreasing sugar consumption in the Indian population. In this context, dietary guidelines for Indians show that sugar consumption should be less than 10% of total daily energy intake, but it is suggested that this limit be decreased. View Full-Text
Keywords: type 2 diabetes mellitus; obesity; sugar; India type 2 diabetes mellitus; obesity; sugar; India
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Gulati, S.; Misra, A. Sugar Intake, Obesity, and Diabetes in India. Nutrients 2014, 6, 5955-5974.

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