A Review on Green Revolution, Nutritional Transition, Diabetes and Millet Movement in India
Keywords:Rice, diabetes, green revolution, millets, glycemic index, therapeutic diet
The advent of the green revolution in the early 1960s in India, when high yielding varieties
were introduced into the farm coupled with enhanced irrigation facilities and fertilizers resulted
in massive agricultural output. The over emphasis on high yielding crops such as wheat,
maize and rice not only improved the harvest index and per capita food availability, but also
showed a nutritional transition among people. The indigenous whole grains such as amaranth,
barley, sorghum and millets were commonly consumed by people prior to the green revolution.
Among these, millet found a dramatic decline in cultivation. Various reasons can be attributed
to this shift from millet to other crops. However today, the typical diet of an Indian is of high
carbohydrate and low protein since the majority of consumers prefer rice and wheat in their
diet. This transition in nutrition from complex carbohydrates of indigenous crops to high
glycemic index foods such as wheat and rice is correlated with the incidence of diabetes
mellitus. The incidence of diabetes in India is growing exponentially and to combat it, a
demand for food containing complex carbohydrates with a higher level of dietary fiber is
needed. This review deals with the idea of ‘The Millet Movement' in India, a strategy through
which the dietary management of diabetes can be handled in a better way considering the
nutritive value of the millet.
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