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Indians, Buffets and Diabetes - A Recipe for Disaster?

According to the World Diabetes Foundation, India has the most diabetics in the world with roughly 50 million. The number is expected to grow to over 70 million by 2015. With the recent growth in the middle class wealth, there are certain elements and trends that I see that will make this situation even worse over the next few years.

Genetics - I cannot say this based on any proven scientific evidence but as I look around, I feel that there is something genetically different among Indians that make us prone to diabetes. Diabetes is normally associated with overweight and people who are closer to 50. However, I was 36 years old when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I am 5'11 and was about 63 kgs at the time. My father was the same age when he was diagnosed. I know a few others now who are young, not overweight and diabetic. Is there something genetically different among Indians, that makes more prone to diabetes? 

Buffets and Mega Buffets - Indians are eating out more these days, especially feasting at the buffets. Almost all the major hotels and popular restaurants now offer a buffet during the week and also have the weekend brunch buffets that have a larger spread. An even scarier trend is the mega buffets that some restaurants have started where they have a separate buffet for each type of cuisine. An example of this is the Gobal Fusion in Mumbai which offers Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Pan-Asian and Indian food along with a special dessert bar. 

Paisa Vasool Attitude
- We also have the "Paisa Vasool (Value for Money)" attitude which means most of us will over-stuff ourselves just one bite short of having the trouser button snap. It would seem as if this is the last meal for many.

Dessert - No Indian meal is complete without a sampling (did I say sampling?) of desserts. Gulab Jamun with ice-cream, Jalebis, Kheer etc are great way to end a wonderful buffet. Of course, this must be followed by a Sunday siesta. 

India is the diabetic capital of the world and will continue to have more diabetics if people do not pay attention to their diets. I hope that anyone reading this article will be a little more careful with what they eat at the next buffet, it may just give you a slightly longer and healthier life to enjoy. I think the combination of our genetics, eating habits, lack of exercise, India is heading for a diabetic nightmare. 

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