The National Nutritional Week ( the first week of September) concept was created by the Govt. Of India in 1982 to emphasize,educate and create awareness among people on the importance of eating/drinking the right kind of nutrients and the impact it has on the health of a person.
The word ‘Nutrition’ means the understanding of consumption of all edibles available to one, leading to the promotion of health and the word ‘Dietetics’ implies the management of facts and science behind the right kind of food elements towards good health and in conditions of disease, along with other preventative, prophylactic and therapeutic measures.
Nutrition is the fundamental birthright of all citizens of this country and one of the strong pivotal criteria of building a sound human base for the upkeep of this nation. The only way to create this in a continuous manner against all nuances is to provide the basic nutrition to all people of this country in the journey from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’ nation …beginning with breastfeeding just after being born to food guidance in the later years in life through all ages ! Lamenting though..we have not reached anywhere near to the standards of many a nation in this world…on this topic..which is not even given its due priority.
We can only wish a separate ministry by the name of “ Ministry of Nutrition and healthy consumerism “ be formed in India, to take care of the myriad aspects of nutrition plaguing this nation and the solutions needed to address the same.
‘Midday School Meals’ need to be taken much more seriously across the length and breadth of this country to plant the sapling of a sound nutrition to children who are the future citizens of India. There is no uniform policy in place for the proper utilization of funds allocated on this and just any combination of low grade food elements are used to serve such meals to children. ..often to the point of denial. This needs a serious redressal and soon. ‘Maternal and Child Nutrition’ needs to be looked into from a rather preventive angle.
‘Food adulteration’ is another area of mammoth deception to mankind for easy profits and takes a serious toll on human health in the long run. There is simply no effective law on this and the punishments are not grave and the involved people get away easily without any significant punitive measures. This applies to both raw food elements in the open market, as well as, semi-prepared and prepared food which is plain speaking unfit for human consumption. Recent instances of passing off animal carcasses as consumable meat to humans, form a glaring example to the height of daringness and apathy on vigil in this matter !
We need more Nutritionists & dietician to cover the large population of this country to work towards the sound health of people through Governmental and Non-governmental organisations and they should be empowered with authority to book the offenders and refer them for due legal recourse. This week is dedicated to initiate and start such projects across the states of this country ,with a varying theme each year, with regards to poor maternal nutrition/ill health of children/ignored health of poverty stricken population and more. There must also be stress on the educative aspects of this huge problem by different means of reaching the vulnerable segment of the population and guided by the general literacy of those affected. Group meetings with real time food sample demonstration sessions and a guide to elementary home cooking can go a long way to initiate a campaign towards sound nutrition of humans. Food analysis….random check on food vendors….and standardization of policies need to be implemented with immediate effect….to prevent the growing menace of food adulteration which has already cost a good no. of human and animal lives in this country of ours ! A good amount of research in nutrition as applicable to the socioeconomic fabric of this nation and monitoring the impact at the ground level…is also a perquisite.