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Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs)

Published: 13th May, 2024


The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) under the apex health research body released revised "Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs)" to meet the requirements of essential nutrients and prevent non-communicable diseases (NCD).

17 Dietary Guidelines for Indians (DGIs)

  1. Eat a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet
  2. Pregnant women and new mothers should have access to extra food and healthcare
  3. Ensure exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months; continue breastfeeding till two years and beyond
  4. After six months of age, the infant should be fed homemade semi-solid complementary foods
  5. Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and adolescents in health and sickness
  6. Eat plenty of vegetables and legimes
  7. Use oil/fats in moderation; choose a variety of oil seets, nuts etc. to meet daily needs of fats and essential fatty acids
  8. Obtain good equality proteins and essential amino acids; avoid protein supplements to build muscle mass
  9. Adopt a health lifestyle to prevent abdominal obesity, overweight and overall obesity
  10. Be physically active, exercise regularly
  11. Restrict salt intake
  12. Consume safe and clean foods
  13. Ensure appropriate pre-cooking and cooking methods are used
  14. Drink plenty of water
  15. Minimise the consumption of ultra-processed foods and high fat, sugar, salt
  16. Prioritise nutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people
  17. Read information on food labels

Need of the guidelines

  • Changes in dietary habits have led to increased prevalence of non-communicable diseases alongside persisting undernutrition issues.
  • Unhealthy diets contribute to 56.4% of India's disease burden.
  • 34% of children aged 5-9 have high triglycerides.
  • Healthy diets and physical activity can reduce a significant portion of coronary heart disease, hypertension, and prevent up to 80% of type 2 diabetes.
  • Adopting a healthy lifestyle can prevent premature deaths.

Significance of the guidelines

  • The guidelines emphasize balanced diets, breastfeeding, and healthy lifestyle habits to address the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and undernutrition issues.
  • Prioritizing nutrient-rich foods and minimizing consumption of ultra-processed foods are crucial for overall health.
  • Special attention to pregnant women, infants, children, adolescents, and the elderly ensures their nutritional needs are met at different life stages.
  • Promoting physical activity alongside dietary changes further contributes to overall health and disease prevention.
  • Education on reading food labels empowers individuals to make informed dietary choices.

Q: The increase in life expectancy in the country has led to newer health challenges in the community. What are those challenges and what steps need to be taken to meet them? [150 Words] [10 Marks] [2022]


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