The recent decline in good eating habits in India is a serious cause of concern. In recent times, a lot of Indians have begun sacrificing good nutrition habits in place of convenience foods. For different reasons, many Indians have switched from eating healthy, wholesome meals and instead opt for fast and easily accessible meals which are mostly unhealthy. These meals are often high in sodium, sugar, cholesterol and contain no corresponding nutritional value.
One possible reason for this switch from healthy to unhealthy meals is the increased influx of international fast food chains into India. In recent years, fast food companies like McDonald’s, Burger King, and Taco Bell etc. have begun establishing outlets all around India. Because of their ease and availability, Indians have acquired new tastes and frequently eat at these fast food restaurants, regardless of the fact that these foods are mostly bad for their health and wellbeing. These fast food restaurants also provide online order options, making it very accessible and handy for people who spend a lot of time at work and have no time to cook proper meals.
Less healthy food options are also often more affordable for the average Indian than more healthy food is. For example, a McChicken burger costs about Rs. 88 while a kilogram of boneless chicken breast costs about Rs. 240 per kilogram. As a result, most customers feel that fast food restaurants offer them more value and quantity for their money and forget that these foods are often very unhealthy. Considering this, it might be much cheaper for Indians to depend on fast food restaurants for their meals instead of trying to cook more healthy meals by themselves.
Another reason Indians tend to jettison proper nutrition in favor of more convenient, but often less nutritious options is convenience. Fast food restaurants, for example, hold the promise of quick meals often in as little as 10 minutes after making an order making them very convenient for people with busy schedules. Healthier meals, however, take much longer to prepare which and may not fit into the schedule of many people, resulting in healthy meals being substituted for fast foods.
Apart from the fact that fast foods are mostly unhealthy, Indian foods are also often no better. Several traditional Indian foods contain too many carbohydrates, calories, and sodium, making it unhealthy itself. In order to make a healthy Indian traditional meal, one might have to embark on a long and complicated cooking process making use of several foodstuffs.
Some of the effects of this switch to less healthy food options can be seen today. Regular consumption of these unhealthy meals and continuous poor nutrition habits has been linked to obesity and several other chronic health conditions like heart disease and high blood pressure. This continued consumption of unhealthy meals is one of the reasons that has led to an increase in heart disease sufferers in the country, with heart disease currently being the highest cause of deaths in the country.