Public Health Nutrition

Monitoring and surveillance

Dietary profile of urban adult population in South India in the context of chronic disease epidemiology (CURES – 68)

Ganesan Radhikaa1, Rangaswamy M Sathyaa1, Anbazhagan Ganesana1, Raghavan Sarojaa1, Parthasarathy Vijayalakshmia1, Vasudevan Sudhaa1 and Viswanathan Mohana1 c1

a1 Madras Diabetes Research Foundation & Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Non-Communicable Diseases, International Diabetes Federation Centre of Education, 4 Conran Smith Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai, India


Objective Few dietary surveys have been done with reference to chronic diseases, such as diabetes, in India, which is considered to be the diabetes capital of the world. We report on the dietary intake of urban adults living in Chennai, South India.

Design A population-based cross-sectional study.

Setting A representative population of urban Chennai in southern India.

Subjects The study population comprised 2042 individuals aged ≥20 years selected from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiological Study (CURES). Dietary intake was measured using a validated and previously published interviewer-administered semi-quantitative meal-based FFQ.

Results The mean daily energy intake was 10 393 (sd 2347) kJ (male: 10953 (sd 2364) kJ v. female: 9832 (sd 233) kJ). Carbohydrates were the major source of energy (64 %), followed by fat (24 %) and protein (12 %). Refined cereals contributed to the bulk of the energy (45·8 %), followed by visible fats and oils (12·4 %) and pulses and legumes (7·8 %). However, energy supply from sugar and sweetened beverages was within the recommended levels. Intake of micronutrient-rich foods, such as fruit and vegetable consumption (265 g/d), and fish and seafoods (20 g/d), was far below the FAO/WHO recommendation. Dairy and meat products intake was within the national recommended intake.

Conclusions The diet of this urban South Indian population consists mainly of refined cereals with low intake of fish, fruit and vegetables, and all of these could possibly contribute to the risk of non-communicable diseases such as diabetes in this population.

(Received March 14 2009)

(Accepted June 02 2010)

(Online publication August 12 2010)


c1 Corresponding author: Email