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Are Indians fast becoming non-vegetarians?

Are Indians fast becoming non-vegetarians?

New Delhi: It seems the day is not far off when most Indians eat only non-vegetarian food daily.

This is at least going to be true in the case of a large number of Indian men.

The National Family Health Survey (NFHS) finds more people turning to non-vegetarian diet than ever before.

Between 2015-16 and 2019-21, the number of men gorging on meat and fish marked a sharp uptick, according to The Indian Express.

83.4 per cent of men and 70.6 per cent of women aged between 15 and 49 eat non-veg daily, weekly or occasionally.

But in 2015-16, 78.4 per cent men and 70 per cent women reported eating non-veg.

NFHS-5 conducted in 2019-21 showed a drop to 16.6 per cent in the case of men aged 15-49 who never ate any non-vegetarian food.

The previous survey in 2015-16 recorded 21.6 per cent as not eating any non-veg.

As for women of the same age group, a 29.4 per cent never ate any non-veg as recorded in 2019-21.

This showed a marginal dip from 29.9 per cent during 2015-16.

Weekly meat eaters rose sharply. 57.3 per cent men and 45.1 per cent women eat fish, chicken or meat at least once a week, the latest survey reported.

The proportion of weekly meat eaters in 2015-16 were 48.9 per cent men and 42.8 per cent women.

Breaking the data across the state, with 98.4 per cent of men who ate only non-veg, Lakshadweep tops the list. Rajasthan has the lowest non-vegetarians with 14.1 per cent in 2019-21.

Andaman & Nicobar Islands (96.1%), Goa (93.8%), Kerala (90.1%) and Puducherry (89.9%) account for the Top 5 non-veg eating states, the report said.

Haryana (13.4%), Punjab (17%), Gujarat (17.9%) and Himachal Pradesh (21.1%) are at the bottom of this list.

Across religious divide, Christian men and women topped non-vegetarian list with 80 per cent men and 78% for women in the 15-49 age group.

Non-vegetarians in other religions are found at: Hindu men: 52.5%, women: 40.7%; Muslim men: 79.5%, women: 70.2%; Sikh men: 19.5%, women: 7.9%; Buddhist/Neo-Buddhist men: 74.1%, women: 62.2%; and Jain men 14.9%, women: 4.3%.

The survey reported more people eating eggs than fish, chicken or meat. 84.7 per cent men eat eggs daily, weekly or occasionally during 2019-21.

Marking a spike from 70.08 percent before, 72 percent women now eat eggs.

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