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Young India Rapidly Adopting Nutrition as Primary Health Strategy: Grow Fit

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On the occasion of National Nutrition Week, mobile health start-up Grow Fit releases unique insights on diet and nutrition basis their 120,000 pool of users

Young Indians in their 20s as well as the elderly in their 60s show equal eagerness in addressing health and weight issues through nutrition as per a report by Grow Fit. Indians are showing an increased consciousness about the need to eat right. At the same time,  it is also true that about 50% of the people who consulted experts from Grow Fit’s pool of nutritionists and counsellors were grow-fitfound to have some form of medical condition, the most common being Thyroid, PCOD, and Diabetes.

Emphasizing the right nutrition for a healthy body and mind on World Nutrition Week, Grow Fit a mobile health companion that, through artificial intelligence, helps over 300 million Indians achieve peak wellness came up with intriguing observations. These were obtained after analysing around 13 million interactions that happened on the platform over a period of 8 months, starting January 2016 when the platform was launched.

The report released today shows that about 70% to 80% of the users are from Tier 2 cities and smaller towns spread across India such as Srinagar, Jalandhar, Nagpur, Surat, Vijayawada, and Imphal thus proving that better health is a universal concern. Though 75% of the clients who approached Grow Fit did so for losing excess weight, about 15%,  had a normal BMI but wanted to lose weight from specific parts of the body, the most common being belly fat. A large section of the Indian population grapples with the common problem of trying to lose belly fat. Abdominal obesity is correlated with many health risks, including cardiovascular risk.  Recent studies show that increased abdominal obesity may be due to insulin resistance, which can be controlled through diet rather than exercise. Around 10% of people were under-weight and wished to gain weight.

Jyotsna Pattabiraman, CEO, Grow Fit, said, “Consuming a healthy diet and obtaining a reasonable amount of activity are the key ingredients for maintaining an optimum weight. By combining data science, medical science and behavioral insights, Grow Fit helps guide people to a healthier, happier version of themselves.  We are the only comprehensive mobile health solution that goes beyond advice to its actual implementation by offering both expert advice as well as therapeutic and functional foods. The World Economic Forum has pointed out that the economic burden of lifestyle diseases in India is estimated to be over $4.58 trillion by 2030. On World Nutrition Week, we would like to raise awareness on how adequate nutritional support is essential to prevent lifestyle diseases”.

Another common trend that Grow Fit noticed was that a lot of people had attempted to manage their own weight – somewhat like self-medicating – before giving up and seeking expert help. Most of them are not fully aware of the diet and activity pattern that is right for their unique body type. There were also cases in which people hampered their own progress through over-exercising. Chronic health issues or work-related complications also make it difficult to lose weight and add to their woes.

The fact that nutrition and medical conditions affect not just health but also skin and hair also need to be emphasized. About 30% of Grow Fit’s users reported some form of issue with skin and/or hair, again a symptom of sub-optimal nutrition.

Respondents of various age groups were part of this study affirming the fact that Indians have started taking their health seriously. On the one hand was a 16-year-old weighing 80 kg and suffering from Thyroid and PCOD. On the other was a 62-year-old female suffering from asthma and hypertension who had gained weight over the last two to three years, felt lethargic, and had swelling in the lower extremities. Proper nutrition and counselling helped them check their weight and improved their health status to a large extent. These are only two such examples from a pool of varied users.

Availability of specific foods in some cities is a challenge. For many users, following a diet plan is not very easy as it requires additional planning, shopping, and preparation. Keeping this in mind, Grow Fit has launched an online shop selling healthy ingredients and food such as Low-carb, gluten-free and low-GI mixes, supplements and healthy snacks. These are shipped all over India.

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