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Social Media Main News Source For Young Indians: Report

More than half of the respondents said they fear openly expressing their political views online could get them into trouble with authorities

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The social media giant may face similar questions from lawmakers in other countries in the coming days. Pixabay

Online news generally and social media specifically have outpaced print as the main source of news among English-speaking young Indian news users, showed a new report.

People over 35 still mix online and offline media to a great extent, according to the Oxford University’s Reuters Institute India Digital News Report.

While more than half of respondents in the study reported getting news from social media, a quarter identified social media as their main source of online news.

Facebook and WhatsApp are particularly widely used, with 75 per cent of respondents using Facebook (and 52 per centsaying they get news there), and 82 per cent using WhatsApp (with 52 per cent getting news there).

Other social media widely used for news include Instagram, Twitter and Facebook’s Messenger – whereas Snapchat is much less widely used.

social media
Social media platforms such as Facebook, its unit WhatsApp and Twitter are extensively being used by Indian politicians for campaigning ahead of the election: Facebook’s 300 million users and WhatsApp’s 200 million have made India their largest market in the world, while Twitter too has millions of users. Pixabay

Based on data from a survey of English-speaking online news users in India, the study also showed that India has emerging as an overwhelmingly mobile-first, and for many mobile-only, media market.

Nearly 70 per cent of the respondents identified smartphones as their main device for online news.

The research showed that people in India have low trust in news overall (36 per cent). But they have higher levels of trust in news in search (45 per cent) and social media (34 per cent) than respondents in many other countries.

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Nearly 60 per cent of users are worried whether online news they come across is real or fake.

More than half of the respondents said they fear openly expressing their political views online could get them into trouble with authorities, the study showed. (IANS)

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More Indians Getting Fatter but Fewer Undernourished

Meanwhile, there was a drop in the number of undernourished Indians from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 217 million in 2010-12

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The number of obese adults has gone up in India from 24.1 million in 2012 to 32.8 million in 2016. Pixabay

More Indians are getting fatter but fewer are undernourished as the nation goes from lessening the impact of hunger to developing the new health issue of obesity, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.

The number of obese adults has gone up in India from 24.1 million in 2012 to 32.8 million in 2016, according to The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2019 report released on Monday.

Meanwhile, there was a drop in the number of undernourished Indians from 253.9 million in 2004-06 to 217 million in 2010-12, and 194.4 million in 2016-18, according to FAO reports.

The number of Indian children under five years who were overweight was 2.4 million last year, while 46 million were stunted, according to the report.

Indians, Fatter, Undernourished
More Indians are getting fatter but fewer are undernourished as the nation goes from lessening the impact of hunger to developing the new health issue of obesity. Pixabay

Globally the number of obese adults has gone up from 563.7 million in 2012 to 672.3 million in 2016, the report said.

FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva said at the news conference releasing the report that obesity was a growing problem worldwide, becoming almost an epidemic especially among children. The globalcosts related with the problems associated with obesity is about $2 trillion, almost as much as the price tobacco exacts in health and other costs, he said.

He said countries will have to control the obesity problem through taxation of sugar, fat and salt, providing healthier foods, and ensuring that consumers get the right information about food products.

Children should be given fresh food and healthy breakfasts instead of cereals with high sugar content, he added.

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The report said that an increase in the unemployment rate in India has possibly increased food insecurity, which is lack of consistent access to food with people being forced to reduce at times the amount they consume.

Food insecurity has increased in Southern Asia “from less than 11 per cent in 2017 to more than 14 per cent in 2018”, the report said. “This possibly reflects an increase in the unemployment rate in India between 2017 and 2018”.

“In the Indian Himalayas, economic slowdown coupled with natural resource depletion and climate change negatively impacted on food production and employment opportunities. This resulted in increased threats to food security due to lower purchasing power,” it added.

The number of undernourished people around the world has come down from 947 million (14.5 per cent of the global population) in 2005 to 821.6 million (10.8 per cent) last year. But it has been rising slowly since 2010, when it was down to 785.4 million (10.6 per cent), mainly because of the situation in Africa. (IANS)