Rapid technological advancements, better infrastructure, quick access to information, etc. are some of the many perks enjoyed by millennials today. They are upbeat, positive, active and more enterprising than the generations before them. While there are plenty of upsides to their position, they are also more likely to develop lifestyle related diseases like type two diabetes and eating disorders. Millennials drink and smoke almost twice as much as the gen X and baby boomer and are likely to experience a fall in life expectancy rates.
Millennials in India are fast moving towards nuclear families, long work hours and an increasing escalation in the time spent commuting to work. Such factors make it hard for them to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle. With little time in the day to forge for and prepare meals, they find it easier to look for convenient and easy food solutions through food ordering apps and pre-packaged meals. While the argument of healthy food costing more might still be debatable here in India, it has definitely become more tedious to procure when compared to its unhealthy and widely available counterpart.
The system of dabba food (A food delivery service that provides fresh home cooked meals, usually prepared by housewives, for working men and women across the city), has worked well for many generations, especially in metro cities like Mumbai. Their popularity today is decreasing not because of a drop in their quality of service or nutritional benefits but more due to the fact that their product lacks luster. The ordinary meal of dal, chawal & sabzi (lentil soup, rice & cooked vegetables) cannot compete with the allure of low fat butter chicken with whole wheat roomali roti that has been prepackaged in glossy wrapping and sold with all its health benefits clearly stated.
The many contributing factors to millennial eating disorders in India are, to a large extent, universal in nature. Increased exposure to advertising and propaganda around ‘healthy eating’ is one of the largest contributors to this disease. Information overload has led us into forming a skewed view of health and well-being, whereby we have alienated the two concepts to become something that have nothing in common with each other. The need to for physical activeness to complete daily chores or as a stress buster is declining with every passing days. Millennials prefer sports on television or as a video game that having to actually play it.
- Millennials facing shorter life expectancy due to obesity by Eric Perry – Short Course 2015, Scripps Howard Foundation Wire, 4th June, 2015. http://www.shfwire.com/millennials-facing-shorter-life-expectancy-due-obesity/
- Millennials and the World of Work: The Impact of Obesity on Health and Productivity by Shair L. Barkin, William J. Heerman, Michael D. Warren and Christina Rennhoff, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. 7th March, 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2868992/