Proteins are essential nutrients for the human body. Every cell in the body contains protein and we need the nutrient to help our body repair cells and make new ones. People who are into fitness are often advised by experts to consume a protein-rich diet because it aids muscle build-up. That said, the requisite amount of protein intake is different for men and women – For men, the DRI (Dietary Reference Intake) is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight, or 0.36 grams per pound. This amounts to 56 grams per day for the average sedentary man and 46 grams per day for the average sedentary woman. However, Indian women seem to be unaware of this requirement, since a study has found that women across India consume 13 percent lesser protein than men. A survey by Delhi-based mobile health and fitness company HealthifyMe has revealed that the consumption of protein has remained consistently lower amongst women in India as compared to men. The report, titled ‘HealthifyMeter Gender Watch 2017’ and released on Thursday, is based on 60 million food records of over 1.5 million HealthifyMe app users – half of which are women – across approximately 200,000 locations in the country.
According to dietary recommendations, the energy contribution of protein, fats and carbohydrates for an Indian adult should be in the ratio of 20:30:50, but in reality, the protein intake is much lower. “Protein deficiency may cause symptoms like a slow metabolism, trouble losing weight, fatigue, poor concentration, and mood swings among others. It is also a lifestyle risk that reduces immunity,” Tushar Vashisht, Co-founder & CEO of HealthifyMe, said in a statement. “Because women are more prone to osteoporosis – a condition in which bones become weak and brittle – than men, lower protein intake can make them even more prone to fractures,” explained Ambrish Mithal, Chairman and Head (Endocrinology and Diabetes Division) at Medanta Hospitals in Gurugram. In addition, the report revealed that women consumed a higher amount of carbohydrates as compared to men (56.6 percent vs. 55.3 percent energy contribution of carbohydrate) as well as a higher amount of fat as compared to men (29.2 percent vs. 28.8 percent). Also, when it comes to physical activity, women take 20 per cent less steps in a day than men, the report stated. The disparity in protein consumption was found highest in the north-eastern states of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh followed by Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Punjab and Delhi.

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