In this post a few weeks ago we had discussed how a large proportion of Indians felt that they were healthy and did not need to exert themselves to maintain their health over the long term. We also mentioned that there was a section of the population that was conscious and worried about their health and did various things to stay in good health.

An online Nielsen survey – recently mentioned in this article in the Mint – explored this health – conscious sliver of the population and some of their attitudes. Do click on the link and go through the article, it’s worth a read. Am reproducing a few paragraphs from the article below :

According to the study’s findings, almost 42% of Indian respondents considered themselves overweight. Most of them want to burn off the fat through exercise, rather than make changes to their diet to slim down. Of those trying to lose weight, 79% indicated they preferred to exercise rather than change their food habits. Those who would try the latter option also made up 65% of respondents.

Still, to say that Indians would exercise rather than diet to lose weight may be a bit of a stretch, said Ishi Khosla, a New Delhi-based health counsellor and nutritionist……“We claim and probably in our minds we think that we’d rather burn calories than opt for diets. It may not be a representative sample,” Khosla said.

Based on extensive qualitative research conducted over the past year, we’d tend towards agreeing with Ms. Khosla, in that the survey results probably reflect intention or occasional effort rather than actual regular practise. We’ve seen that most Indians are aware of the benefits of regular exercise and a healthy diet, are aware of different forms of exercise, of what goes into a healthy diet, and have every intention of exercising regularly and eating healthy food; however, only a minority actually end up doing so.

Why do most people fall short of their intentions? Do they try and then give up, or not even try? What do they do in order to stay healthy? Our next post will tell you more about this, so keep reading.



Zenobia D. Driver