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Perhaps the question being asked most often in these Olympics is, where are the Indians? Why does a country with more than 1 billion people have fewer medals in their entire Olympic history than one U.S. swimmer?
There are a lot of different reasons for India’s poor showing. The lack of desire, the lack of infrastructure and investment. Poor genetics is another explanation. But how about the fact that, according to one poll conducted by CNN, 31% of Indians are vegetarian? Their dominant Hindu religion restricts their diet, and it’s possible that a lack of access to abundant meat or other economic explanations confounds on the religious aspect to ensure that even those who do eat meat don’t eat all that much of it which would bring with it a limited amount of muscle fuel which limits the athletic achievement of the entire nation.
The data is about a decade old (via GOOD), but a compilation of per capita meat consumption shows that U.S. residents consumed over 120 kg of meat per year; Chinese consumed over 50 kg per year; Indians consumed just over 5 kg of meat per capita.