Study Site: Chennai, India
InstitutionsMadras Diabetes Research Foundation and SAMARTH
Principal Investigator: Dr. Viswanathan Mohan
Co-Investigator: Sudha Vasudevan

India at a Glance

Area: 3,287,263 sq km
Population: 1,236,344,631
Median age: total 27 years
Urban population: 31.3% of total population
Life expectancy: male 66.68 yr ; female 69.06 yr
Diabetes prevalence: 66.8 million cases, 8.63% (national prevalence)
Per capita GDP: $4,000
Language(s):   Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Oriya, Punjabi, Assamese, Maithili, other. (English enjoys the status of the subsidiary official language.)

Indian cuisine varies by region and religion. Northern Indians eat more flat breads, while those from southern India prefer rice. In coastal states, such as Kerala and Bengal, fish dishes are popular. Chicken and mutton (sheep) are eaten more often in mountain and plains regions. While many Hindus avoid eating beef, Muslims avoid pork. In addition, many Indians (particularly Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains) are vegetarian.


MDRF – HSPH Brown rice brochure – Dec 2009



The World Factbook, 2013-2014. Washington, DC: Central Intelligence Agency, 2013.

IDF Diabetes Atlas, 6th Edition. Brussels, Belgium: International Diabetes Federation, 2014.

Misra A, Singhal N, Sivakumar B, Bhagat N, Jaiswal A, Khurana L: Nutrition transition in India: secular trends in dietary intake and their relationship to diet-related non-communicable diseases. J Diabetes;2011,3:278-292.

Radhika G, Sathya RM, Ganesan A, Saroja R, Vijayalakshmi P, Sudha V, Mohan V: Dietary profile of urban adult population in South India in the context of chronic disease epidemiology (CURES-68). Public Health Nutr; 2011,14:591-598.