Unhealthy Fat in Street and Snack Foods in Low-Socioeconomic Settings in India: A Case Study of the Food Environments of Rural Villages and an Urban Slum

Vidhu Gupta, Shauna M. Downs, Suparna Ghosh-Jerath, Karen Lock, Archna Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective To describe the food environment in rural villages and an urban slum setting in India with reference to commercially available unbranded packaged snacks and street foods sold by vendors, and to analyze the type and quantity of fat in these foods. Design Cross-sectional. Setting Two low-income villages in Haryana and an urban slum in Delhi. Participants Street vendors (n = 44) were surveyed and the nutritional content of snacks (n = 49) sold by vendors was analyzed. Main Outcome Measures Vendors' awareness and perception of fats and oils, as well as the type of snacks sold, along with the content and quality of fat present in the snacks. Analysis Descriptive statistics of vendor survey and gas chromatography to measure fatty acid content in snacks. Results A variety of snacks were sold, including those in unlabeled transparent packages and open glass jars. Mean fat content in snacks was 28.8 g per 100-g serving in rural settings and 29.6 g per 100-g serving in urban settings. Sampled oils contained high levels of saturated fats (25% to 69% total fatty acids) and trans fats (0.1% to 30% of total fatty acids). Conclusions and Implications Interventions need to target the manufacturers of oils and fats used in freshly prepared products to improve the quality of foods available in the food environment of low-socioeconomic groups in India.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-279.e1
JournalJournal of Nutrition Education and Behavior
Volume48
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

Keywords

  • fatty acids
  • food environment
  • low- or middle-income country
  • snacks
  • trans fatty acids

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