US student to study 'unhealthy' dietary habits in Delhi

A Kinesiology major from Foster City in California, Michael Fox will spend six weeks in Delhi between June and July to construct, implement, and evaluate dietary programmes.
Fox chose India because he has always been interested in having a global impact in an area suffering from escalating rates of chronic disease as a result of a westernised lifestyle.

"I thought this project would also provide me with a unique cultural perspective to care for others," he said.

He will be working with non-profit organisation 'Chronic Care Foundation' in India to design educational workshops to promote healthy dietary behaviour.

According to Fox's proposal, India is undergoing a rapid nutritional transformation characterised by an increased availability of total calories -- especially from saturated fat and processed food, leading to the emergence of concomitant chronic disease.

Recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) indicate that non-communicable diseases now account for 50 percent of all deaths in India, with two of the three leading causes of death being heart disease and stroke.

"The objective of this project is to empower people in India to successfully recognise and avoid deleterious impacts of westernisation-namely, the increased commercial availability of calorie-dense foods and attendant rise in healthcare costs," Fox said.

"This will help promote peace by ensuring that the worst of American culture does not interfere with existing vegetarian lifestyles and lead to future resentment either of America or between the various traditional and westernised factions of India," he said.

College students from over 90 campuses will collectively receive more than USD1 million in funding during the summer of 2011 for projects in all regions of the world.

Each of the projects, including Fox's "Education Workshops to Promote Health and Peace in India," will receive USD10,000. 

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