Last month there was a report by the UN that in India 46% of children are suffering from malnutrition.That the rate of maternal and infant mortality is very high and that 80% of the population is living below the poverty line.
BBC2 yesterday screened a documentary on the “super sized kids of India”. It was a poorly made and presented documentary , the presenter pranced from one child to another, convincing them along with the profit making doctors that surgery and gastric banding was the only solution to the problem.
In the West,obesity is more common among those who who are may be socially marginalised, or poor. As burgers and Kentucky fried chickens are a cheaper and easier option than cooking a meal.
It is the reverse in India, the 5% or so who have an extraordinary amount of money find that they way to show love to their kids is to indulge them in the luxury of fast and fatty food.
As eating MacDonald and what we call junk food is a sign of wealth! As one portion of these foods costs as much as what an average Indian earns in a day.
What was striking was, that the parents felt and behaved as if the obesity of their children was none of their business or concern! The kids have servants to look after them,chauffeurs to drive them everywhere and plenty of money to spend on such indulgence.
Every city in India now has at least 5-6 outlets of western fast foods. And what is more, their burgers/fried chicken and fries contain twice as much fat ,as they are allowed to use in the west. There are no controls, they can advertise in anyway they like, there is no restriction for them being near a school and there is no food agency to control what they put in their food.
The solution it seems,is every street has clinics and doctors who specialise in drastic surgery at a huge cost. Not a word on healthy eating or exercise.
One child has made history,he was the first child in the world to have this surgery at the age of Seven,when he weighed 13 stones.
It is sad, I wish foreign governments would encourage such countries by sharing their knowledge, lending their experts to help with such problems,rather than pouring more money to them,which lines the pockets of the 5% or so.
And what about those unscrupulous companies who dump their harmful practices/food/ cigarettes and other stuff on such countries.
And how about the Indians themselves? Why are they so keen to emulate the West in everyday ,when they are never tired of telling us how bad the British influence has been over the ages and how they shout discrimination at the drop of a hat?
It will be funny if it was not so sad.