With the prevalence of lifestyle diseases in India, there has been much discussion regarding eating patterns, and the Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) diet is now the new guideline for all chronic non-communicable diseases. This suggestion is slowly but definitely becoming established.
The implementation of a plant-based approach to healthcare is growing momentum among healthcare providers and patients alike. With rising healthcare costs, there is a need to transition from a “sick care” model to a “wellness care” model that emphasizes the prevention and management of chronic diseases. Plant-based nutrition can play a crucial role in addressing this need.
The Physicians Association for Nutrition India (PAN India) recently at a conference on Evidence- based Nutrition highlighted how plant based diet is essential for our lifestyle. The conference was addressed by Dr. Sanjana M Sikri (Executive Director), Dr. Rajeena Shahin (Medical Director) & Dr. Ashish Sabarwal, (Advisor) PAN India.
The panelists highlighted PAN International’s organization, its mission, the impact they have made in the many countries they operate in, and of course, their plans for PAN India.
India, home to more than 1.34 billion people, is experiencing an increase in chronic non-communicable diseases as a result of rapid socioeconomic growth and epidemiological change. The percentage of deaths caused by non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in India is thought to have increased from 37.9% in 1990 to 61.8% in 2016, according to the study report “India: Health of the Nation’s States”- The India State-Level Disease Burden Initiative from 2017 by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). In three decades, the numbers have nearly doubled. In India, NCDs account for 16939 DALYs per 100 000. In India, NCDs develop at a significantly younger age than in Western nations.The most productive years of life are between the ages of 26 and 59, when two-thirds of Indians with non-communicable diseases reside. India has the second-highest percentage of diabetics in the world, with an estimated 77 million people currently suffering from the disease and an anticipated 134 million by 2045. One-fifth of all premature deaths in India are caused by cardiovascular disease, and both rural and urban populations are currently experiencing rapid rises in their levels of hypertension.
India requires a long-term healthcare system to control the rising NCD pandemic. PAN India’s goal is to raise awareness among both healthcare professionals and the general public in order to assist the integration of nutrition-specific interventions into health systems throughout India. A healthier planet is made possible by the widespread adoption of better plant-based eating habits, which not only contribute to the creation of healthier individuals but also reduce environmental impact and preserve biodiversity.
On this note Dr. Sanjana M Sikri (Executive Director) PAN India quoted that, “Education and advocacy are crucial in promoting the adoption and acceptance of plant-based nutrition as the first-line management for the treatment of chronic diseases. Patients need to be educated on the benefits of plant-based nutrition, and healthcare providers need to understand the science behind it.”
Dr. RajeenaShahin (Medical Director) PAN India noted that, “PAN India’s mission is to educate & train healthcare professionals about Evidence-based Nutrition, disseminate information among the general public and facilitate better food systems by strategic partnerships. I do understand that we also need to provide the right tools, and resources for doctors to practice whole food plant based nutrition as a first line of management of c/c lifestyle diseases. We are committed to create the right environment as this is the only sustainable way of managing c/c lifestyle diseases”
Dr. Ashish Sabarwal, (Advisor) PAN India also added, “One way to build awareness on the usage of plant-based nutrition as first-line management is through community-based education and public events. Local organizations can organize events and seminars to educate patients and healthcare providers on the benefits of plant-based nutrition. These events can feature experts in plant-based nutrition, nutritionists, and healthcare providers to share their knowledge and experience.”
Physicians Association for Nutrition India: The Physicians Association for Nutrition India (PAN India) was established in 2022 as part of the PAN International network. We align with the global strategy of PAN International on our mission to integrate nutrition-specific interventions into health systems in India by empowering healthcare professionals with the tools, techniques and know-how to treat their patients with the power of evidence-based nutrition.