Monday, January 30, 2006

Why osteoporosis is so bad in India

An extensive study published in Jan. 2006 reveals that Indians are increasingly being afflicted with osteoporosis. This study, conducted by the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, shows that an estimated 61 million Indians suffer from osteoporosis. Commenting on the study, the director-general of the World Health Organization (Gro Harlem Brundtland) said that osteoporosis will see a manifold increase in the developing world.

As explained in The Milk Imperative, in India both genders are affected by osteoporosis, as shown by another study by the Britannia New Zealand Foods and the Arthritis Foundation of India. This has revealed that in cities like Kolkata and Chennai, 45 per cent of men have brittle bones. Another disturbing trend revealed by the study is that an increasing number of Indians even as young as 26 are falling prey to this disease.

WHO reveals that one out of eight males and one out of three females in India suffer from osteoporosis, making India one of the worst affected countries. The Arthritis Foundation of India says there has been an estimated 200 per cent jump in cases across Asia in 10 years.

Why is osteoporosis increasing at such an alarming rate in India? As shown in The Milk Imperative, the answer unfortunately is simple: a dramatic increase in milk consumption in India in recent years has gone hand-in-hand with a dramatic rise in osteoporosis. In 2002, some 18,000 million liters of milk where produced by Operation Flood's cooperative unions each day. As a result, milk consumption in India has risen from a low of 107 grams per day in 1970 to over 220 grams per day in 2002; and people in all parts of India are now able to buy and consume dairy milk without scarcity of supply. Since 2002, the increase in milk production and consumption in India has risen enormously, growing at a rate of over 4% per year according to FAO. This makes India the fastest growth market in the world in milk production and consumption.

Russell Eaton
Author of The Milk imperative
www.milkimperative.com

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