Nestle plans diabetes research unit in India

Written by fe Bureau | Updated: Nov 17 2010, 04:03am hrs
Two months after worlds largest food company, Nestle SA announced that it is setting up a specialised business unit to develop personalised nutrition products to treat or prevent diabetes, the Indian arm of the company, Nestle India has roped in National Diabetes, Obesity and Cholesterol (NDOC) Foundation to study the specifics and patterns of diabetes prevalence in the country.

The research on diabetes commissioned by Nestle India would be headed by Anoop Misra, president, NDOC and director, department of diabetes and metabolic diseases, Fortis Hospitals.

India, home to over 50 million diabetics out of the total 285 million diabetics worldwide, ranks second after China (92 million) in absolute number of diabetics, according to the International Diabetes Foundation. By 2030, this number of diabetics worldwide is expected to reach 370 million.

I believe that India has a genetic predisposition towards the diabetes which makes its population vulnerable to this metabolic disorder. Having said that, we have to work around the dietary changes which can prevent and manage diabetes in a much more effective manner. We believe that there is nothing called bad food, there are bad diets. We have signed up professor Anoop Misra to study the dynamics of the disease here, said Antonio Hello Waszyk, chairman, Nestle India at the sidelines of India Economic Summit.

Talking to FE, Anoop Misra said the MoU with Nestle revolves around two pillars, one on increasing nutritional awareness on dietary modification needed to prevent and manage diabetes and secondly, around research around the disease in the Indian landscape.

We are still in the process of designing the research but largely we would work on insulin resistance in Indian population, the metabolic syndrome and the nutriotional modifications that could create early pathways to prevent diabetes, Misra said.