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I'll take fries with that : Are Indians getting Americanized?

Friday, 27 June 2014 - 7:50am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

American brands top the domestic retail space in India, especially food and beverages. Almost 30% of total global brand share in India is American, which includes brands like McDonalds, KFC, Subway et al and many packaged FMCG products. dna asks readers if we Indians are getting Americanized in our food habits

Obesity among children is a big problem..

This fast food are major cause for many diseases especially obesity which can lead to diabetes, hypertension and cardiac diseases. In medical terms obesity is a disease. Our younger generation is becoming addicted to these oily, fried and carb foods. Obesity among young children has become a serious problem. We have to counter these trend of liking fast food, which have satiative value but no nutritive value. The shift towards our preference for packaged foods also must be curtailed because these packaged food contain preservatives in the form of salts and high intake of salt is a major cause for developing hypertension in later age.
Dr Kalyan Gangwal

We are moving towards a health epidemic...
The health trend is totally dependent on what we have accepted and adapted. These brands are not restricted up to MacDonald's, Pringles or KFC or any other fried foods which we are consuming happily. It also includes many fortified products, yoghurts, cereals which are healthy substitutes than the fried foods. The health trend curve can be improved by correcting the food choice which is majorly towards fried food. In any age groups these intake trends of fried foods indicates that we are turning towards a major epidemic of health hazard in near future.
Dr Kiran Rukadikar, Obesity Physician

Some foods are healthy, some not...
We are getting Americanized in our food habits. We should read the label before making any purchase because sometimes it could be misleading. From the nutrition point of view some can be healthy and some not. It is in our genes that Indian food suits us. The packaged food is processed which results in a decrease in the nutrition value. So to increase that, they add nutrients to the processed food. Therefore from health point of view, some American food brands can be healthy and some not.
Avanti Deshpande, Nutrition expert

Indian food habits shouldn't change...
India has a rich source of all the good food which is now being adopted by the west for a healthy lifestyle. Anything that is readily available and 'easy to make' is just empty of nutrients. Where as the Indian food or diet consists of all the nutrients that are necessary for the human body. The Indian lifestyle in terms of food should not change if we want a better quality of life. India is the third in the world as per statistics in obesity, diabetes and heart diseases. At this rate, if Indians particularly the younger generation does not accept and understand this, the country's future will be in unhealthy hands. Consumption of processed food is fine but total replacement of Indian food is not right.
Dr Arundhati Walwadkar, Ayurvedic Consultant and Nutrionist

moment on your lips, forever on your hips...
I am against the packaged food and the junk food because it is harmful for the human beings. In my opinion we should stick to our traditional wholesome Indian meals which not only provides us nutrition but also keeps us healthy in the long run. I personally do not recommend the packaged food to my son but due to the changing trends, I buy it once in a week or such. The good taste remains hardly for a few minutes but the negative effects remain through out the life. It is due to the changing tastes and preferences in the young that packed food has become the new lifestyle. I do not want this to continue or get a larger place in our retail share. It will not have a good impact on the physical and the intellectual aspects of a human life.
Asmita Sathaye, Parent

Our lifestyle is also mimicking the west...
We are not only overindulging into Americanized food culture but are also borrowing their lifestyle. It wouldn't be fair if we just narrow down our focus on our country, because the whole world is mimicking American lifestyle and food habits. This trend is majorly carried on by youngsters and IT professionals who like to taste something different from our traditional Indian meal such as chole bhatur and Pav Bhaji. In fact todays younger generation take pride in preferring expensive American food hangouts than a wada pav centre. What we need is a change in mindset of what is healthy and what is not.
Sutapa Majumdar, Sociologist

Youngsters are not health conscious....
We are in a generation which focuses on brand popularity and American fast foods have gained that popularity. Though, these foods are expensive but youngsters still manage shell out money to taste it. Majority of the younger generation are not health conscious, for them what matters is that food should look and taste good. There is a saying that what is tasty is not always good for health and what is healthy is not always tasty. These American fast food joint which have mushroomed in India are luring the younger generation with chic hangout places and a delectable but unhealthy menu.
Disha Paricha, Student

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