Rajendra Pratap Gupta
Dated: October 22nd, 2010.
- Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad
Hon’ble Minister for Health & Family Welfare
Government of India
Nirman Bhawan, New Delhi -110108.
2. CEO’s of the industry
Subject: An important appeal
Dear Shri Azad ji & CEO’s ,
This appeal needs your esteem, kind and personal attention.
Disease Management Association of India (DMAI ) – The Population Health Improvement Alliance is thankful to the Ministry of Health & Family welfare for taking action on its recommendations for health reforms appeal sent last year ( dated November 23rd 2009 ). Members, associated organizations and the Board of Directors of DMAI – The Population Health Improvement Alliance, are highly appreciative of the steps that the current government is taking to tackle the healthcare issues concerning our nation.
One area where DMAI feels that the Ministry & the industry have to draw its focus and attend urgently is:
- Issue guidelines & standards ( and enforce them ) with regards to the food served in airlines , railways , other public transports, government canteens, private dining establishments, School canteens & packed foods ( all forms )
- All such foods / foods items must carry the calorific intake for each serving
- The customer must be given a choice of low calorie, low glycemic index, and zero cholesterol options rather than forcing them to eat unhealthy foods that adds to the disease burden of this nation.
- Above all, all packaged food companies must carry tips for good health on the individual packs – at least a one liner if not more!!
It is proven that Indians are genetically susceptible to circulatory disorders , and that we can only fight it by inculcating healthy eating habits by educating the public on healthy foods, promoting healthy foods ,and at last , giving them an option to eat what is good for their health .
I have personally experienced that all the airlines, Indian railways, public transport and eateries are serving foods that have a high glycemic index, high in fat content and are loaded with calories that remain in the body as excess fats. Such foods are a slow poison for consumers!! This is the main cause of India becoming a diseased nation, and the alarming rise in the obesity amongst children in addition to diabetes and hypertension. DMAI had conducted a random Health Risk Assessment with 2000 people in association with IIHMR, Delhi. The revelations have been shocking!! We have an abnormally high incidence of diabetes, hypertension and obesity. It’s a call to action.
We have to aim at keeping the BMI of Indians below 23, and today, it is shocking that about 50 % of Urban Indians are either at the risk of obesity, diabetes, hypertension or joint pains or suffering from it.
By the time Indians reach forty years of age, they become patient of one form of illness or another. It is high time that we all get together and put efforts to make India a healthier nation. We cannot just blame the government for the healthcare issues and leave it to handle this issue alone!
Through this appeal, we expect all the airlines, public transport and eateries to ensure that they serve healthy food and carry the total calorific intake for each serving.
It is also expected that that all the concerned will take the health of Indians as a top priority in all the offerings when it comes to foods intake , and give options like brown bread , sugar substitutes , low calorie and low fat meals as an option and not force the passengers & customers to eat high calorie meals.
DMAI is committed to working with all the major stake holders in the entire continuum of care to bring about a population health improvement through actionable steps
We expect the government to formulate definite guidelines on this issue, and the industry to take a proactive approach. Work place wellness must be focused on by the HR captains and CEO’s of all the ‘responsible’ corporations.
DMAI appreciates the proactive approach of the government to ensure healthcare for all. Should the government agencies need any assistance in drafting guidelines or in the implementation plan, DMAI would be more than happy to volunteer for the same
In hope of the needful
Dr.Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister
Ms.Sujatha Rao, Secretary, Health & Family Welfare, GOI
Shri Dinesh Trivedi, MOS, HFW
Dr.K.Srinath Reddy, President, PHFI
Health Minister of States
CEO, Jet Airways, King Fisher Airlines, Goair, Indigo, Air India, Spicejet
Minister for Railways
Ministry of HRD / Ministry of Labour / Ministry of Civil Aviation
Koutenya Sinha, Editor Health, Economic Times
Sonal Shukla, Hindustan Times
Priyanka, DNA news
CII, ASSOCHAM, FICCI & CIAT to circulate this to all its members