Metabolic syndrome and associated gastrointestinal (GI) conditions are becoming increasingly prevalent in the country with 33.5% of Indians experiencing the former. The syndrome increases the risk of complications such as Type-2 diabetes and heart disease. Diet and lifestyle play a central role in managing the broad spectrum of gastrointestinal diseases and are often overlooked. Given the rise of lifestyle-related chronic conditions in the country, a holistic approach to gastrointestinal disease management, with emphasis on diet and lifestyle changes, can help delay or even prevent the onset of health complications.
Recognising this need, Abbott partnered with the Nutrition Society of India (NSI) to create awareness for the first-ever India-specific clinical dietary recommendations for patients suffering from GI conditions, ranging from functional constipation and peptic ulcers to obesity, chronic pancreatitis and irritable bowel syndrome. These recommendations are regionally suitable and can also be further customized according to the individual’s ideal target body weight, nutritional requirements, preferred cooking methods and other relevant factors. They come at a time when prevention and better management of comorbidities such as diabetes and cardiovascular conditions are increasingly important, especially since healthcare for non-communicable diseases has been interrupted in recent months in India.
“Nutrition and lifestyle changes are key to gut health management. With a diverse food culture present in our country, a uniform dietary plan may not work for all patients. Adherence is a major challenge. Abbott has collaborated with the Nutrition Society of India to release the first India-specific dietary recommendations and guidelines, customized to cultural eating habits. Since the guidelines take into account these preferences, they will help provide personalized counsel to patients, ensuring better adherence and improved health outcomes, so that people at risk of metabolic syndrome in India can make lasting changes to live fuller, healthier lives,” Dr Srirupa Das, Medical Director, Abbott India said in a press statement.
Added Dr Ramesh Garg, Consultant Gastroenterologist: “In Delhi, the percentage of people suffering from metabolic syndrome is 43%. Lifestyle modifications such as physical exercise and dietary changes, along with treatment can help manage gastrointestinal issues. These dietary recommendations can complement the efforts of healthcare practitioners across the country in equipping patients with holistic treatment and long-term management plan.”
Underscoring the significance of adherence to recommended diet in facilitating gut health, Dr Jagmeet Madan, Principal, Professor at Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous) SNDTWU, Mumbai, and Former Executive Committee Member at NSI and National president at Indian Dietetic Association, said: “In the absence of culturally-specific dietary recommendations, patients may be provided plans from global sources, which typically benefit only 25% of patients. These India-specific dietary recommendations will help increase long-term adherence to a planned diet. Improved adherence will also ensure reduced consumption of less suitable foods, which can aggravate underlying conditions. Nutritionists can therefore provide patients with an effective, personalised diet plan to support their gastrointestinal health while also catering to their food preferences.”