Sunday, 28 July 2013

Babbar diet, balanced diet and poverty

Politics in India seems to be falling into an abyss. Every other day someone entrusted with the job of running this country speaks something to make us question the educational credos of these eminent leaders.

These patients of verbal diarrhoea and absolute buffoonery exist in every political party but if it comes to picking up the best( or in this case the worst ) of the lot, the leaders of Indian national congress win hands down.

From Mr. Beni Prasad Verma to Mrs. Renuka Chowdhary, the congress leaders seem to be on an adventure to discover the holy grail of idiocy. And just when we have thought that the participants cannot get any absurd, a new contender surfaces out of the blue with an even more absurd research finding. The latest trio has surely entered with a BAM (Babbar, Abdullah, and Masood) right in the face of poor people of this country.

Recently Mr. Raj Babbar, a member of lok sabha claimed on record that a man can have one full meal for just Rs. 12 in Mumbai. Mr .Rashid Masood, another congress leader devalued the lives of poor Indians down to Rs. 5. Not to be outdone, Mr. Farooq Abdullah, a minister in central government, used his expensive golf swings to drive home the point that Re. 1 is all you need to satisfy the satiety centre in brain.

As expected the absurd statements led to a furore. The said gentlemen were mocked, ridiculed and castigated for their moronic uttering. While Mr. Masood and Mr. Abdullah’s statements don’t deserve anything better, Mr .Babbar’s delirious nonsense needs to be studied carefully.

Why? Well because Babbar ji has been considerate enough to give us the menu of the said ‘Babbar diet’ which costs only Rs. 12.

While media has been out on streets, visiting every open food vendor stall in sight in search of ‘all you can eat in Rs. 12 buffets’, nobody has bothered to look into the matter with a scientific insight.

Hence, I took the onus upon myself to present some science.

Now before we begin, let me acquaint you with a few basic definitions.

     1.)  Babbar Diet
A Babbar diet costs only Rs. 12 and consists of
2 chapattis/rotis/ fulkas at 3 Rs apiece               =     6/-
½ cup plain dal (pulse) at 8/- per cup                 =    4/-
1 spoon vegetable                                              =    2/-
 So that is 6+4+2 = 12/-

      2.)  Balanced diet
A diet that contains adequate amounts of all the necessary nutrients required for healthy growth and activity.

      3.)  Indian reference man
As defined by the ICMR in 2009

Reference man is between 18-29 years of age and weighs 60 kg with a height of 1.73m. with a BMI of 20.3 and is free from disease and physically fit for active work; on each working day, he is engaged in 8 hours of occupation which involves moderate activity, while when not at work he spends 8 hours in bed, 4-6 hours in sitting and moving about, 2 hours in walking and in active recreation or household duties. 

      4.)  Energy requirements on basis of activity
For an Indian reference man the minimum energy required to meet all the requirements of a day vary with the type of lifestyle and activity
Sedentary – 2318 kcal/day
Moderately active- 2727 kcal/day
Heavily active- 3485 kcal/day

       5.)  BMR(basal metabolic rate)
For an Indian reference man it is 1515 kcal/day
The rate at which the body uses energy while at rest to keep vital functions going

Having explained all the important terms, now let’s look at the issue in terms of simple science.
Since congress champions itself as the messiah of common man especially the poor, let us assume there is Mr. Z, a daily wage labourer aged 25. He weighs 60 kg and is 1.73 m tall.

Now this poor labourer does a lot of heavy work every day just to make enough to ensure that his kids don’t sleep hungry. He then comes to know of a place serving the ‘Babbar diet’. And in order to save a bit extra, he decides to follow Mr. Babbar’s advice and take 2 meals per day for Rs. 12 each.
So how many calories will he be taking?

As per the calorie chart mentioned in K park’s textbook of social and preventive medicine (20th edition)

1 phulka/roti/chapatti                = 80kcal
½ cup dal                                   = 100kcal
1 cup vegetable without gravy = 150 kcal

So let’s find out the calories in one ‘Babbar diet’

2 rotis = 2*80 = 160 kcal
½ cup dal (pulse) = 100 kcal
1 spoon vegetable= ½ cup vegetable= 150/2 = 75 kcal

Hence one Babbar diet contains
160+100+75=335 kcal
Now since Mr. Babbar has advised 2 diets per day are enough
So in a day Mr. Z will get only 2*335= 670 kcal

Since Z is a daily wage labourer and comes under heavy activity bracket then as per the guidelines laid down by ICMR report of 2009, he will be needing 3485 kcal/day

i.e. a glaring deficit of 3485-670=2815 kcal/day

As he is clearly burning more energy than he is taking, Poor Mr. Z will lose weight.

How much? Easy to calculate.

To lose 1 kg weight one needs to burn 8750 kcal.

So since Mr. Z is losing 2815 kcal/day, he will lose 1 kg weight in about 3 days.
That means in about 1 month he will lose 30/3 = 10 kg.

Now you don’t need to be a doctor to understand the adverse effect of such rapid weight loss. With the ‘Babbar diet’ he will soon be having his last rites in a few months.

Leave alone the energy needed for working, this poor fellow won’t even get enough to meet the requirements of his BMR i.e. the energy needed to maintain the vital functions of life like breathing, circulation etc.

Anyway, now that we have established the disconnect of these politicians with the ground reality and more importantly having deduced the IQ of Mr. Raj Babbar, let me explain to you the mental capabilities of planning commission.

Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia proudly proclaims that poverty in India has reduced. A person spending more than Rs. 33.33/day in a city, is no longer poor.

Now let’s assume that somewhere in a city we do get a ‘Babbar diet’ for Rs. 12.
In order to meet the calorie requirements of a day the same Mr. Z will need to have 3485/335 = 10 such diets in a day.
Since each diet costs Rs. 12
10 such diets will cost 12*10 = 120 Rs.

Yes, a daily wage labourer needs to spend 120 Rs per day just to get proper food. The precise reason why many such workers have poor health and are anaemic is because they don’t even have that much.

So as per planning commission poverty indices, you spend more than 33 per day and you are not poor, even though you are malnourished and anaemic?

I leave you to figure out how ridiculous the studies of tendulkar committee are, how poor is the basic understanding of Montek Singh and how pathetic is the thinking of our PM Dr. Manmohan Singh. Because, I simply cannot find the logic or rationale behind calling a man not poor, when he is malnourished.

The difference between reality and absurdity is crystal clear. With basic science one can easily understand the fudged up poverty figures in this country. It also shows how sincere this government is in reducing poverty.

I would like to know the thought of congress supporters on this issue now. Will they refute the whole concept of balanced diet? And I haven’t even gone into the finer details of balanced diet yet. I haven’t even touched the issue of individual intake of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Will the congress politicians and supporters question science itself now?

I totally expect them to because sycophancy runs in their genes.

This is the scientifically backed truth...and TRUTH ALWAYS HURTS!!!  

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