Ojaank IAS Academy

OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

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OJAANK IAS ACADEMY

Foundation For Building a Nutritious India

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India is home to one in three malnourished children in the world and has the second highest level of wasting among children globally. In this regard, there is considerable room for improvement in food nutrition and health.

India ranks 107 out of 121 countries in the Global Hunger Index, 2022. However, there are some measurement issues with this index. There is a situation of high malnutrition here due to biased policies regarding rice-wheat.

Malnutrition in India manifests as a triple burden โ€“ underweight, hidden hunger and overweight, especially among the poor. Food fortification clearly plays an important role in combating malnutrition.

According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, fortification is the intentional enhancement of the content of essential micronutrients in food in order to improve the nutritional quality of the food and provide public health benefits with minimal risk to health.

Food fortification is needed in India because of the high level of malnutrition among women and children. According to the food ministry, every second woman in the country is anemic and every third child is stunted. India also suffers from hidden hunger. Undernutrition, also known as malnutrition, can be defined as a lack of vitamins and minerals.

Nutrient deficiency diseases such as weak immune system, high mortality rate in pregnant and lactating women and infants, mental and physical retardation in children, etc.

Poor diet, increased micronutrient needs during certain life stages (pregnancy and lactation), and health problems such as disease, infection, or parasites all contribute to such deficiencies. Recognized micronutrient deficiencies such as iodine, iron and zinc, vitamin A, calcium, vitamin D and B vitamins also add to the problem.

Food fortification can improve this problem. Fortification of food is considered to be one of the most appropriate ways to combat malnutrition. Rice is one of the staple foods of India, consumed by about two-thirds of the population.

The per capita consumption of rice in India is 6.8 kg per month. Therefore, fortifying rice with micronutrients is an option to supplement the diet of the poor.

-OJAANK SHUKLA

( DIRECTOR โ€“ OJAANK IAS )


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