Picture - Dr. Geetha Santhosh, President, IDA Bangalore Chapter
Dr Geetha Santhosh, President, Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) Bangalore Chapter, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mount Carmel College, Autonomous, Bengaluru explaining good quality sources of protein in Bengaluru.



· 50% Inadequate protein in Indian diet patterns
· Indians lack awareness about good quality sources of protein
Indian Dietetic Association (IDA), Delhi Chapter declared 24th-30th July 2017 as The Protein Week. This initiative is supported by Protein Foods Nutrition Development Association of India (PFNDAI) and is a big opportunity to encourage people to become better informed about protein which is integral to our general health and well-being; impacting every life stage.

The ongoing Protein Week is the first such initiative in the country. During this Week nutritionists across the country are holding educational round-tables engaging key opinion leaders to spread awareness and discuss myths and realities of protein.

The launch of this initiative got together renowned names such as Dr. B. Sesikeran, nutritional pathologist, Ms. Neelanjana Singh, Dr. Seema Puri, Ms. Anuja Agarwala- members of IDA, Dr. J.S. Pai of PFNDAI who pledged to spread the Protein awareness messages.

Dr Geetha Santhosh, President, Indian Dietetic Association (IDA) Bangalore Chapter, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Mount Carmel College, Autonomous, Bengaluru.

The changing trends in the eating and life style pattern coupled with flood of nutrition information have led to protein, a vital nutrient, being taken for granted. Though the community knows the importance of protein, there is still a need to create awareness primarily due to faulty eating habits, the surrounding misinformation, myths. Hence, it is essential to be educated on the role of protein across life span, the knowhow of right quality of protein in appropriate amount with balanced diet. By doing this, true to its nature, protein remains an essential nutrient for healthy living.


Dr. B. Sesikeran renowned nutritional pathologist and ex-director National Institute of Nutrition

“Proteins from different sources complement each other. In India there are many myths around the sources of protein, people are confused about their dietary protein intake and often assume that it is for body builders only, however protein is a fundamental nutrient across life stages that helps in maintaining good health and active ageing.

Vegetarian diets also have adequate proteins if we include pulses and legumes in sufficient quantity. However even with a ratio of 5:1, cereals and pulses combination the protein quality in terms of digestibility and bio availability is only around 65% when compared with milk protein. Also, pregnant women cannot achieve optimal protein intakes with exclusive vegetarian diets without adequate milk in their diets.”

Ms. Neelanjana Singh, President IDA, Delhi Chapter

“We are happy to announce this unique protein initiative which is the first of its kind on the subject aimed to generate awareness. She believes that it is time that the discussion on the subject of protein moves beyond gyms and sportspersons and becomes relevant for each and every person who wants to be healthy. Not too much and not too little is the key to getting proteins right in the diet. Achieving the balance of proteins – in quantum and quality – can pave the road to good health.”
Dr. J.S. Pai, Executive Director, PFNDAI added, “We are happy to support this initiative of IDA. There is a firm need to bring protein discussions to mainstream. Our vegetarian diets are already deficient in protein both in quantity and quality, so we need to supplement with protein which not only fills up the gap but is high quality enough to ensure our cereal & pulse-based protein quality would be elevated.”

Dr. Seema Puri, Associate Professor, Department of Food & Nutrition, Institute of Home Economics, University of Delhi and National Vice President, IDA:  

“Quality of protein is as important as quantity of protein eaten. Cereal based diets are not rich in high quality protein. Such diets need to be supplemented with foods such as milk products, pulses, eggs, fish, poultry or meat. Digestibility of the food has a bearing on utilization of protein in the body. For effective utilization of protein it is necessary to also include adequate calories in one’s diet.”

Ms. Anuja Agarwala, Nutritionist, Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS and Former President, IDA Delhi Chapter:

“It is important to begin early and focus on a protein rich diet right from the start, which should be continued through all the life stages of development and growth. Children particularly have high protein demand to propel their growth during growing years, as they grow in spurts. Demand for protein among children is particularly high during pre-teen and teen phases of growth spurts.”

“One should include at least one protein source in each of one’s 3 major meals and 2 snacks to keep the body’s protein balance positive. Set-off Pro-teen for proactive disease-free course of life”

For more information on IDA, Delhi Chapter please visit:

For more information on PNFDAI please visit:


Lucknow most protein deficient at 90%; Delhi at 60%

· Indian protein deficiency levels are alarming
o 73% of Indian diets are protein deficient; Indian vegetarian diets worst affected with 84% being protein deficient; while 65% of Indian non-vegetarian diets too suffer from protein deficiency
o Lucknow is the most protein deficient city in India with 90% of population suffering from protein deficiency; Kolkata enjoys the best protein balance with only 43% with protein deficiency
· Protein is one of the most misunderstood nutrient in India
o 93% of Indians are unaware of their ideal protein requirement
o Indians suffer from several myths related to quality of protein (sources) and quantity of protein consumed at various life stages.

Protein’s health benefits: Top associations
· Essential for children’s growth
· Enhances mental sharpness
· Essential for muscle building
· Is good to build immunity
· Enhances beauty, is good for skin, and  improves hair quality

Bangalore, 28 July, 2017:

Leading research firm, IMRB, today released findings of a nationwide study on ‘Understanding Protein Myths & Gaps among Indians’ covering 1800 respondents across East, West, North, South regions, which has revealed significant gaps in both awareness levels on protein and its consumption.

Protein is one of the fundamental nutrients essential for the human body, which is duly acknowledged by the respondents. Respondents believe that protein is essential for children’s growth; enhances mental sharpness; essential for muscle building; is good for immunity and enhances beauty, is good for skin, and hair quality.

Protein enjoys highest average associations on various health benefits
· Protein – 53%
· Calcium – 48%
· Vitamins – 43%
· Iron – 34%
· Carbohydrates – 32%
Numbers above are average percentage associations on health benefits

Among nutrients endorsed for their health benefits by the respondents, protein has the highest average endorsement i.e. 53%, with calcium at 48%, vitamins at 43%, iron at 34% and carbohydrates at 32%

Alarmingly, what is the adverse impact of protein deficiency is not well understood among Indians in general, with only 1/3rd strongly endorsing that lack of protein can cause weakness and fatigue.

73% of Indian diets are protein deficient
· 3/4th of Indians   consume inadequate amount of protein in their diet

Vegetarians are significantly more protein deficient than vegetarians
· Protein deficiency among Vegetarians: 84%
· Protein deficiency among Non-Vegetarians: 65%

The study, involved analysing the diet patterns of respondents, to understand if the Indians are consuming the prescribed levels of protein in their daily diets, which is a function of their body weight. Alarmingly, it was found that Indians suffer from a significant protein inadequacy, with 73% of Indians consuming diets being protein deficient.

The most protein deficiency was found among vegetarians with an alarming 84%. Contrary to the popular belief, what is interesting that not all non-vegetarian diets provide adequate protein, as 65% of Indian non-vegetarian diets were found to be deficient in prescribed levels of protein as well.

In a region wise analysis of protein deficiency, Lucknow is the most protein deficient city i.e.90% protein deficiency, followed by Ahmedabad and Chennai at 84%, Vijayawada at 72%, Mumbai at 70%. Only Kolkata has less than half of population suffering from protein deficiency in their diets at 43%.

Lucknow is the most protein deficient city in India, Kolkata is the least
· Lucknow: 90%
· Ahmedabad: 84%
· Chennai – 84%
· Vijayawada – 72%
· Mumbai – 70%
· Delhi – 60%
· Kolkata – 43%

A closer look at the various consumer segments find that protein deficiency is highest among men with families at 75% and mothers at 72%.

 Men with families are most protein deficient, followed by mothers
· Men with families – 75%
· Mothers – 72%
· Single women – 53%
· Single men – 44%
· Children (10-15 years) – 44%

The awareness challenge

The reason behind protein deficiency is explained by the fact that Indians also suffer from poor awareness levels on protein. 93% of Indian’s interviewed are unaware of their ideal protein requirement, with pregnant ladies on the top at 97%, followed by lactating mothers at 96% and adolescents at 95%.

What is even more alarming is that Indians suffer from many myths when it comes to their understanding of the sources of Indians, its role.

93% of Indians are UNAWARE of their ideal protein requirement
· 95% of adolescents are unaware of their ideal protein requirement
· 97% of pregnant ladies are unaware of their ideal protein requirement
· 96% of lactating mothers are unaware of their ideal protein requirement
· 91% of diabetic patients are unaware of their ideal protein requirement
94% Indians ACCEPT/ AGREE that their daily protein intake is inadequate
· 96% of adolescents accept/agree that their daily protein is inadequate
· 98% of pregnant ladies accept/agree that their daily protein is inadequate
· 97% of lactating mothers accept/agree that their daily protein is inadequate
· 92% of diabetic patients accept/agree that their daily protein is inadequate

One of the most misunderstood nutrients: Protein confronts several myths:

· 73% of Indians believe that green leafy vegetables are a good source of protein
· 30% of Indians strongly agree that 1 egg a day provide sufficient amount of protein
· 29% of Indians strongly agree that their regular daily diet is enough for  their daily
· protein needs
· 28% Indians strongly agree that their veg diet is good enough for their protein needs
· 1/5th of Indians believe that high protein diet is bad for health

About Kantar IMRB
Kantar IMRB is a pioneer of market research services in Asia. It partners its clients across the entire brand life-cycle through a unique mix of innovation and analytical thinking to design customized solutions that deliver greatest impact. Kantar IMRB’s suite of solutions is designed on frugal, agile innovation and adds value, real value, to help clients make impactful decisions. By leveraging on its large array of syndicated services and specialist divisions, Kantar IMRB helps clients in crafting marketing and consumer strategies. Kantar IMRB has created products and frameworks for global clients using the expertise and knowledge of emerging markets. With a multidisciplinary and multi- cultural workforce, Kantar IMRB is at the forefront of research and consulting services.
Kantar IMRB has been a leader in setting up industry measurements like India’s first TV rating system (TRPs), the first and only household panel in the country –Household purchases of FMCG’s (Kantar Worldpanel), the National Readership Survey (NRS), first IT (ITOPS) and Digital ( I Cube) studies, Online audiences (WAM) and Mobile usage (Mobi Track). Kantar IMRB also played an important role in the standardization of market research practices in India and was responsible for creating the Socio-Economic Classification (SEC) system in 1983 – a method now used across India to segment and define target audiences.

An eight-time recipient of “Agency of the Year”, Kantar IMRB’s footprint extends to 49 offices across 67 countries. Visit: for more information.
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