Some special In-born qualities of all Indians around the world
of Indian origin and ancestry, wherever they are, not to talk of their ilk, share
some unique features associated with their genes. In most of the Indian families,
academic excellence prevails, especially in the areas of mathematics, computers
and medicine, which makes them stand-out in comparison with citizens of other
nationalities. We are always proud of our genes and our ancestry and our achievements.
The culture and traditions of Indians, from every state in India, have stood the
grounds over several millennia. Their food habits inherited from the ancient times,
such as Vegetarian foods with milk and dairy products and limited amounts of few
meat products for people of some vocations, have served them well - a matter of
pride and happiness for them.
Now let us consider our ailments associated with genes.
we are proud of our genes, at the same time, we should remember that our ethnic
group suffers from some genetic disorders - both mental and physical. It becomes
necessary to understand why our community suffers much more from some types of
diseases compared to people from other lineages. We should think over why Western
culture, traditions and food habits affect our population. There is a common refrain,
we often hear: "I am only 35 now. This is the time for me to enjoy myself
with the variety of foods available. If anything goes wrong, I can always control
my diet at that time" What blights may affect us and with what consequences
is really a matter for deep consideration along with what preventive steps are
necessary. While political factors may try to divide the Indian community into
different groups, genetically we, from every part of India, are all one and the
same. Quite some years back, a statistical study revealed that Indian descendants
of these special genetic make-ups suffer much more from Coronary Artery Disease
and Heart Attacks. The incidence is much higher and occurs five years earlier
in age compared to people of other nationalities. Artery blocks in the brain and
legs also are found to be more prevalent among our community.
basic reason can be attributed to what is called Metabolic Syndrome - a defect
that prevents proper utilization of the food in the body. This problem is caused
by certain genetic factors peculiar to Indians and is a gender-neutral danger.
The major diseases associated with this are: Diabetes Mellitus (blood sugar),
Hypertension (high blood pressure) and obesity (over-weight). While these afflictions
are common to the human race in general, people of Indian origin have a greater
share of their incidence. We should see what could be done to change or control
this adverse situation.
These problems were not there earlier - then, why now?
food habits of different groups of the human race have an ancient historical background
to them. While the Mongolian race - the Chinese foods mainly - lacks milk, cheese
and other dairy products in their intake, the Caucasians of Italy, gobble them
in a large measure. The diet is suitable for their genes which is age-old in its
inheritance. For reasons unknown as yet, the ancient cultural traditions, have
governed the dietary habits very well to a large extent. Such a legacy has made
us, adopt vegetarian food for most of the society with allowance for a small amount
of meat for the working class engaged in physical chores. During the Middle Ages
and in the past century, the economic situation led to non-availability of food
materials and absence of Western food habits had suppressed occurrence of major
diseases of the type described above.
with the arrival of visitors and tourists from the West and Indians travelling
and settling abroad, working all over the world, food materials of different cultures
became available. Social and political changes allowed multi-national companies
and foreign workers arriving in India who had western food items served in the
restaurants. Indians clamored for these new items as a fashion and status symbol.
With advance of science and technology, and international interaction among societies,
the consumption of starch, carbohydrates, and sweets by Indians has increased
to a large extent.
Indian sweet dishes that were prepared for festival occasions are now served on
a daily basis in large quantities for the people with sweet addiction. The splurge
in the consumption of oil, butter, ghee, cheese and other such dairy products,
apart from various meat products and alcoholic beverages, has also been occasioned
by traditions of other religions and countries. The number of obese people has
increased all over the world. While such waistline bulges may be acceptable to
citizens of other countries who are genetically better disposed, our race should
be more careful in controlling their obesity through proper dietary habits and
physical exercise to reduce fat in their bodies.