New Delhi: A recent study released on Thursday revealed that 60 per cent of Delhiites’ diet is protein deficient. The study, “Understanding Protein Myths And Gaps Among Indians”, revealed that Lucknow is the most protein deficient city in the country with 90 per cent of the population suffering from protein deficiency, while Kolkata enjoys the best protein balance with only 43 per cent suffering from protein deficiency. It also revealed that 73 per cent of Indian diet is protein deficient. The country’s vegetarian diet is the worst affected with 84 per cent being protein deficient, while 65 per cent of Indian non-vegetarian diet too suffer from protein deficiency.
The study conducted by research firm IMRB covered 1,800 respondents across East, West, North, and South regions, which has revealed significant gaps in both awareness of protein levels and its consumption.
“93 per cent of Indians are unaware of their ideal protein requirement and suffer from several myths related to the quality of protein (sources) and quantity of protein consumed at various life stages,” it said.
In a region-wise analysis of protein deficiency, the study revealed that Lucknow is the most protein deficient city with 90 per cent protein deficiency, followed by Ahmedabad and Chennai at 84 per cent each, Vijayawada at 72 per cent, Mumbai at 70 per cent, and Delhi at 60 per cent. Only Kolkata, at 43 per cent, has less than half of its population suffering from protein deficiency in their diets.
The reason behind protein deficiency is poor awareness of protein levels. 93 per cent of the respondents interviewed were unaware of their ideal protein requirement, with pregnant ladies on the top at 97 per cent, followed by lactating mothers at 96 per cent and adolescents at 95 per cent.
According to the study, among the nutrients endo-rsed for their health benefits by the respondents, protein has the highest average endorsement level of 53 per cent, with calcium at 48 per cent, vitamins at 43 per cent, iron at 34 per cent, and carbohydrates at 32 per cent.
The study involved analysing the diet patterns of respondents to understand whether Indians are consuming the prescribed levels of protein, which is one of the fundamental nutrients for the human body, in their daily diets.
Alarmingly, the study found that Indians suffer from a significant protein inadequacy, with 73 per cent of Indians consuming diets being protein deficient. It was also found that the adverse impact of protein deficiency is not well understood by India-ns in general with only one-third respondents strongly endorsing that lack of protein can cause weakness and fatigue.