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“The Goal Of National Nutrition Week Is To Create A Healthy Nation,” Says Dr Harsh Vardhan As He Urges Everyone To Eat Right

On the occasion of National Nutritional Week (September 1 – 7), the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urges everyone to take a pledge to eat right and make nutrition the the main theme of their life

“The Goal Of National Nutrition Week Is To Create A Healthy Nation,” Says Dr Harsh Vardhan As He Urges Everyone To Eat Right
  • Goal of National Nutrition Week is to create a healthy nation: Dr Vardhan
  • Nutrition Week is important to raise awareness of nutrition: Dr Vardhan
  • National Nutrition Week is celebrated on the first week of September (1-7)

New Delhi: The first week of September is observed as National Nutrition Week in India with an aim to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for better health. The National Nutritional Week was started in 1982 by Food and Nutrition Board. On this occasion, the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan urged everyone to take the pledge to eat right and progress towards a healthy nation. He tweeted in Hindi,

#NationalNutritionWeek has started. Its goal is to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for better health, which has an impact on national development. Let us all take this opportunity #EatRightIndia Raise awareness of nutrition by giving it the form of a mass movement. We should not forget that #Health is the central point of nutrition. The goal of National Nutrition Week is to create a healthy nation. Nutrition is the main theme of life, health and development for the present and successful generations.

Also Read: Gujarat NGO Helps Distressed Families Grow Kitchen Gardens During COVID-19 Pandemic To Improve Their Nutritional Well-Being

As part of Nutrition Week Initiatives, the Ministry of Women and Child Development organised a conference, where it urged States and Union Territories (UTs) to focus on the initiative of Nutri-gardens in Anganwadis. The  states and UTs were also told to promote the importance of breastfeeding and awareness around Severe Acute Malnutrition, in the Poshan Month activities.

Also Read: National Nutrition Week 2020: How These Initiatives Are Helping India Eat Nutritious Food Amid Coronavirus Crisis

The nutri-gardens or kitchen gardens will help enhance the knowledge of children regarding nutritional aspects of vegetables and harmful effects of junk food, an official statement from the Ministry of Women Child Development read.

The ministry has directed each Anganwadi to have nutri-gardens and make children spend time growing vegetable and fruits. The statement reads,

The proposed Nutrition Garden would help in addressing issues such as malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies among children. In addition to the nutritional aspect, these gardens would also pose as experimental learning for the children.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too, on his monthly radio show Mann Ki Baat, urged everyone to focus on the nutritious quality of their food intake and increase awareness about the same. He said,

We have a maxim – ‘Yatha Annam Tatha Mannam’ which means our mental and intellectual development is directly related to the quality of our food intake. There is a need to increase awareness of Nutrition.

The Current Status of Nutrition In India

India is one of the world’s largest food producer of items like milk, pulses, and ranks as the second largest producer of rice, wheat, sugarcane, groundnut, vegetables, fruit and cotton, as per the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Despite the status, 14 per cent of India population is undernourished, according to ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2020’ report.

Also Read: Nutrition Week: Children Living In Village Near Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur Are Suffering From Malnutrition

The report states 189.2 million people are undernourished in India and  34.7 per cent of the children aged under five in India are stunted (too short for their age). It further reports that 20 per cent on OF India’s children under the age of 5, suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height.

And the crisis of coronavirus has further worsened these conditions and India’s poor and hungry are being affected the most, the study highlights.

Poshan Abhiyan And Nutrition Month

In 2018, Ministry of Women and Child Development launched the Poshan Abhiyan.

Under the Poshan Abhiyaan, the government set goals to reduce child under-nutrition (stunting and underweight) and low birth weight by 2 per cent a year, and anaemia across age groups by 3 per cent, and create a mass movement for good nutrition in the country. The target of the Abhiyan to achieve a malnutrition-free India by 2022.

To meet the targets and create a discussion around nutrition in the country, along with the National Nutrition Week, the entire month of September in the country is marked as Poshan Maah or Nutrition Month.

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

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