If you travel much, like I do while sitting at the airport it is hard not to notice those around you. Indians suffer many characterizations of their personality. Universally, it is also accepted that Indians show their prosperity on their belly, the Great Indian Belly. Of course, it is another matter that the belly has little to do with prosperity and more to do with their diet. Indians have what is known as the famine gene, a gene that apparently makes Indian’s hoard food in their bodies longer. My parents tell me that the foods we commonly eat today were available at best twice a year on festivals. Making sweets was cumbersome and the neighbourhood cookie store didn’t exist. Of course, Mr George Fernandes had already thrown Coke out in the seventies. Over the last hundred years, our lifestyle has undergone dramatic change. We are physically much less active and have access to vast quantities of food, many of which are unhealthy. This is as true for our children who would often be found using their thumbs on their iPads instead of their quadriceps while climbing a tree. The result shows on the belly for men and on the hips for women. It is now socially accepted that when someone says you are “healthy” it is a euphemism for “you eat well.”
Indian figures in the top ten list of countries that are at great risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. The Indian Government needs to put as much attention to Swast Bharat or a healthy India as they do for Swach Bharat. Celebrities should come out in support of a healthier way of living. It is not cool to be unhealthy.
My apologies to the cop featured in this post.