According to the government consensus, where malnutrition is a threat to our growth, poor diet habits also lead the cause of thousands of deaths in India annually.
The Lancet study recently tracked trends in consumption of 15 dietary factors from 1990 to 2017 and concluded that one in five deaths worldwide (more or less 11 million deaths) is a consequence of meagre diet alone.
Another study by National Health Profile, 2019 (NHP-2019) professed that in India, non-communicable diseases have more adverse consequences that the communicable ones.
Stressing on diet-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity, it is observed that their prevalence, as well as the demand for counter-treatments, have increased drastically over the past two decades.
Keeping all these factors in mind, India’s food safety regulator, Food Safety and Standard Authority of India (FSSAI) under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched the ‘Eat Right India’ movement in 2018 with the prime objective to bring in a ‘new food culture’ in the country which is both safe, and healthy for consumption.
Explaining the ideology of the campaign, Insohi Sharma, Director, Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC), FSSAI said, “Eat Right India is an awareness campaign which particularly aims to aware the citizens of the country – both urban and rural, to eat healthy and promote food sanitation. With the agenda of ‘Sahi Bhojan, Sahi Jeevan (Right Food, Right Life), the campaign aims to make individuals, food producers and marketers aware about as basic as eating and serving healthy food.”
In compliance with the Eat Right India movement, FSSAI has tied up with anganwadis, organizing community awareness programs. Other main objectives of the initiative are as follows:
Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, World Health Organization, South-East Asia, states that the Eat Right campaign some of the finest multi-sectoral collaborative efforts that the World Health Organization has been advocating.
“The Eat Right India campaign is one platform which brings together people, celebrities and other influencers, food industry, public health professionals, civil society and consumer organizations to work towards the goal of healthy eating. At one end, the campaign makes people check their eating habits, whereas, on the other side, it puts food businesses in line to follow quality protocols. Through the effort, the sponsors expect that better nutritional information will help consumers make healthy food investments. If the campaign reaches more and more people, it can go a long way in addressing non-communicable diseases in the country,” she adds.