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National Nutrition Week – ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite’

National Nutrition Week – ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite’

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Highlights :
  • National Nutrition Week is observed every year between 1st September and 7th September
  • The objective for the National Nutrition Week is to educate people on the importance of nutrients and diet for the body
  • The theme for the National Nutrition Week in 2020 is ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite’

National Nutrition Week is observed annually from 1st September to 7th September. The week aims to make everyone aware of the importance of nutrition for the human body and to take adequate measures to overcome hunger and malnourishment. The theme for 2020 is 'Eat Right, Bite by Bite.'

Objectives of National Nutrition Week

National Nutrition Week is organized by the Food and Nutrition Board by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India.

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National Nutrition Week – ‘Eat Right, Bite by Bite’

The main objectives of the National Nutrition Week are:
  • To process the intake of food for growth, metabolism, and repair
  • To create awareness on the importance of proper nutrients
  • To create awareness on the importance and role of the right nutrition for the body

Types of Nutrition

Nutrients are molecules present in the food, which help produce energy, grow, develop and reproduce. Nutrients are digested by the body and broken down into small simpler parts to be used by the body.

There are two main types of nutrients:
  • Macronutrients - Required in large amounts by the body. They are carbohydrate, protein, and fat
  • Micronutrients - Required in smaller quantities by the body. These are vitamins and minerals

National Nutrition Week Theme 2020

Every year the government gives a new theme to highlight the importance and benefits of good nutrition and a healthy diet. The theme of the National Nutrition Week 2020 is 'Eat Right, Bite by Bite'.The theme of 2020 will be addressing nutritional needs and healthy eating practices.

History of National Nutrition Week

Members of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, instigated National Nutrition Week in March 1973.

National Nutritional Week was not popular. However, in the following years, there was increased support in 1980.

In 1982, the Central Government of India decided to establish the movement as a week-long celebration of National Nutrition Week.

Facts about India's Nutritional Status

  • According to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 4 in 2015-16
    • The percentage of children who are anemic has reduced from 69.4% to 58.6% according to National Family Health Survey(NFHS) 4 in 2015-2016
    • The level of children under 5 years who have low weight for their height has increased from 6.4 % to 7.5% as per NFHS 4
    • The percentage of child stunting has decreased from 48% to 38.4%
  • As per Global Hinger Index (GHI) 2019, India is ranked 102 out of 117 countries that were assessed
  • India's rating in the Global Hunger Index in 2019 which measures hunger across the world is 30.3, which according to their guidelines is considered in the serious category
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched POSHAN Abhiyan on March 8, 2018, with a vision to make India malnutrition free by 2022
  • It is presumed that 21 days of a healthy diet is sufficient to change unhealthy habits and transform a person to their better version

Importance of National Nutrition Week

In India, people are least bothered about the malnourishment causing harm to their lives. To spread awareness on the importance of proper diet, National Nutrition Week was set up.

Various NGOs opened in partnership to boost the nutrition of people below the poverty line.

The campaign has boosted people to take steps to change their diet towards a balanced way of life.

Good nutrients are essential for the body. The importance of good nutrients are:

Ways to Observe National Nutrition Week

  • Donate few food grains or crops to people in need
  • Connect with NGOs and support them
  • Replace unhealthy food with nutritious vegetables, fruits, and snacks
  • Participate in programs organized by the Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEU) of the Food and Nutrition Board of India. 43 CFNEUs organize campaigns, workshops, exhibitions, awareness drives on National Nutrition Week
  • Participate in the Ministry of Women and Child Development's various social awareness programs
  • Create awareness about the importance of nutrition through posters and information on social media

Healthy Foods During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Eating healthy food can help people from falling prey to the novel coronavirus.

Nutritious food can help the body fight diseases and recover from infections.
  1. Fruits and vegetables - They are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C can act as a stress buster and immunity buster. It is better to always consume fresh fruits and vegetables.
  2. Pulses and grains - Whole grains and pulses provide macronutrients like carbohydrates and proteins. They are nutritious, long-lasting options that are affordable and filling.
  3. Nuts and oilseeds - They add healthy fats, protein, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Seeds of pumpkin, sunflower, chia, and flax can be included in the diet.
  4. Non-vegetarian foods - Chicken, meat, fish, and eggs are rich in protein and vitamin B. They help strengthen the muscles and help them grow faster. They also maintain hemoglobin and body stamina.
  5. Dairy - Dairy products are very nutritious and contain up to 16 nutrients that are essential for health. They provide calcium, phosphorus, proteins, vitamins, zinc, choline, and magnesium. Right now, all these nutrients are essential for us to fight against COVID-19 virus.
  6. Fluids - It is essential to take adequate amounts of fluid. Water, lemon water, buttermilk, coconut water, soups, pudinapani, jeera pani and other non-sugary fluids help the body stay hydrated.
  7. Limit Processed foods - It is better to limit highly processed foods that contain high amounts of saturated fat, sugars, and salt.

FSSAI Guidelines for Washing Fruits and Vegetables During the Pandemic

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) issued certain guidelines to be followed when cleaning fruits and vegetables during the pandemic. The guidelines recommend isolating the fruits and vegetables after they are brought home. They must be properly washed using clean water or 50ppm of chlorine could also be added to the water.

Supplements Crucial During COVID-19

Supplements can help boost the immune system and fight infections.

Melatonin, iron, vitamin C, vitamin D3, zinc, quercetin, vitamin A, vitamin E n-acetyl cysteine, beta-glucans supplements can strengthen the body to prevent and fight against the COVID-19 infection.

In addition to eating healthy and nutritious food, exercising can also help fight the infection. Physical activity can keep the lungs healthy, and your body becomes more competent at getting oxygen into the bloodstream and transmitting it to the working muscles.

Simple exercises like breathing exercises, squat jumps, skipping, pushing out and arm curls can be done at home to keep the body healthy.

In conclusion, National Nutrition Week is essential to spread awareness on the importance of various nutrients for the body. Eradicating malnourishment is also an important aim of National Nutrition Week. So, let us all come together during this Nutrition Week to 'Eat Right, Bite by Bite.'

References :
  1. National Nutrition week - National Nutrition Week History, Importance, and theme with interesting facts - (https://latestnews.fresherslive.com/about/national-nutrition-week)
  2. NATIONAL NUTRITION WEEK - (https://www.teachingbanyan.com/national-days/national-nutrition-week/)
  3. 6 Essential Nutrients and Why Your Body Needs Them - (https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/six-essential-nutrients)
  4. National Nutrition Week 2020: All You Need To Know - (https://www.ndtv.com/photos/news/national-nutrition-week-2020-all-you-need-to-know-99186#photo-410346)
  5. Easy, affordable and healthy eating tips during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak - (https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/easy-affordable-and-healthy-eating-tips-during-coronavirus-disease-covid-19-outbreak)
  6. Easy, affordable, healthy diet can protect from Covid-19 - (https://www.socialnews.xyz/2020/09/02/easy-affordable-healthy-diet-can-protect-from-covid-19/)

Source: Medindia

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