Cynthia Dettman:  Author

For better or for worse

Westernization has come to India in full force.  That includes obesity and diabetes.  Thanks to processed food and sugars and drinks and sweets and more sedentary lifestyles, Indians are getting chubby.  And exercise has come to India as well.  I took a long early Saturday morning walk on the beach road and was amazed at the activity; adults, men, women, kids, everyone was walking and exercising vigorously.  I enjoyed watching Indian soccer moms, kids boxing and running, and general fun.

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Westernization has somewhat liberated women and gay people, provided new communication methods, more focus on equality, more choices and freedoms. And…. it has polluted the air and water, made people sick with diabetes and heart disease, and created a worldwide epidemic of climate change. What a mix. Cynthia

Interesting topic, Cynthia. Larry and I visited India for 3 weeks about 8 years ago and I noticed how heavy many people looked. I did some research on the growing epidemic of diabetes in this culture and while we were there even picked up a English language newspaper that talked about the fact that obesity and diabetes was increasing rapidly in India. 2 of our son-in-law’s family members are being treated for diabetes and most of the women in his family were quite heavy for their height. Those that called themselves “veggies” ate a LOT of “white” – white rice, white bread, sugary items. I was shocked to see how “westernized” their diet had become. Exercise is very important, but research data has shown that health and weight issues are affected more significantly by changing diet and portions. I hope Indian medical researchers are paying attention to that – it is hard to change food habits.

Amen. I’m taking a variety of gifts to India this time, including some sample packets of a stevia and monkfruit based sweetening for folks who like sweet tea and coffee – but want to avoid sugar. I’m also taking packets of herbal tea- I don’t know how well that will go over, as most Indians prefer strong, milky black tea! Of course as an overweight American, I run the risk of diabetes as well. It’s a world wide problem, not easy to tackle, especially with the addictive qualities of sweets and fats that the global food industry pushes to keep consumers buying. It’s a real problem. Let’s eat fruit, veggies and exercise! Cynthia

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