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A Growing Indian Waistline

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Amidst renewed concerns about a global food crisis, a new report in the UK medical journal Lancet indicates that the higher you go up the Indian socio-economic scale, the wider the waistline:

The study, released Tuesday, cited obesity and physical inactivity as being most common in individuals further up the income ladder and in urban residents, with 7.3% of India’s population overweight and 1.2% obese. That bucks what usually happens when people move up economically: It often encourages healthier living.

One in every five people across the country has at least one chronic disease like cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic disorders, the study notes. Many of these killers result from leading increasingly unhealthy lifestyles.

The onslaught of new and cheaper motor vehicles, easier access to processed foods, and the influx of multinational food and tobacco companies all contributed to people taking up behavior harmful to their health, the study says.

(AP Photo)