India has a reputation as a food exporter.
But for most Indians, canned fruit is a luxury item that’s only available in major cities.
For many, it’s also a source of health problems.
A new study in the journal PLoS One shows how canned fruit may be contributing to obesity in India, especially among children.
The researchers found that people who consumed more than 500 grams of fruit per day had an average of an extra 1.6 pounds of body fat in their 20s, compared to people who ate less than 500 g per day.
According to the study, this extra weight is associated with increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The study, conducted by the World Health Organization’s World Nutrition and Food Security Program (WNWSP) in collaboration with researchers at the University of Chicago, found that fruit consumption among Indian children ages 10 to 15 increased from around 50% to 80% in the decade leading up to the pandemic.
“This study confirms that consumption of fruits increases the risk of obesity among children, but the increase is much more pronounced among those who consumed the most fruits,” said Dr. Tapan Gajapati, the study’s lead author and a researcher at WNWSP.
“We think that increased fruit consumption during the pandemics could have been associated with higher levels of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.”
The study also found that children who ate the most canned fruit experienced increased risk for hypertension, which is linked to the development of heart disease and diabetes.
In addition, the researchers found increased levels of obesity in people who were consuming a higher proportion of fruits, even after controlling for other potential risk factors, including smoking, alcohol, and age.
In India, about 1.5 billion people eat canned fruits.
The study suggests that the average Indian eats more than twice as much fruit as they used to.
But it’s not clear how much fruit the Indian population consumes, and how much extra weight it has gained.
The WNWOP is part of a larger effort to study the health impacts of the pandemaker and related issues, including how to prevent and treat obesity.
A national health strategy was launched in 2014.
The strategy called for improving the diets of Indian children and the health of their communities, while focusing on food and nutrition as part of its broader agenda to combat climate change.
Dr. T.P. Rangappa, a professor of preventive medicine at the Mayo Clinic, is a co-author of the study and said that this study is a step in the right direction.
“These results highlight the importance of fruit consumption in preventing and treating obesity,” he said.
“It is the first report to suggest that high fruit consumption could be associated with elevated risk of chronic disease in children, especially for those who are at risk for obesity.”