Educate the masses on health and nutrition – Jammu Kashmir Latest News | Tourism
Ram Rattan Sharma
There is a steady increase in the problem of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity and diet-related chronic diseases across the world. Nutritional imbalance can lead to poor physical and cognitive development, morbidity and mortality, and loss of human potential, thereby affecting social/economic development. Many developing countries, including India, are currently facing serious health problems at both ends of nutrition – the spectrum carrying the double burden of malnutrition. According to the World Health Organization, malnutrition refers to deficiencies, excesses or imbalances in a person’s energy or nutritional intake. While hundreds of millions of people suffer from chronic degenerative diseases caused by excessive or unhealthy diets, countries are still struggling to feed the population and meet the costs of preventing obesity and treating unhealthy diseases. food-related diseases.
Article 47 of the Constitution of India states that it is the duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and standard of living and improve public health, healthy food/environment shall be created for all sectors; and is the most effective way to overcome challenges. In addition, a health promotion approach is envisaged to enable people to make well-informed and rational health choices. Mass media and other modes of media should be widely used to disseminate knowledge and create awareness to influence people’s nutrition/health behavior. The goal of Health and Nutrition for All is to achieve the highest possible level of good health/well-being and good nutrition through an integrated population-based approach to health. Nutrition is a science involving the interaction of nutrients and other compounds present in food such as anthocyanins, tannins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, etc., in relation to the maintenance of growth, reproduction, health and pathological condition of an individual. Good nutrition involves consuming the right amount of nutrients from healthy foods in the right combinations. Regular physical activity is also essential for maintaining health and preventing disease. Nutrition is the very foundation of human development by conferring immunity and thereby reducing morbidity, morality and disability. In addition, it promotes lifelong learning abilities and improved productivity.
India has been at the forefront of developing food and nutrition databases. Our country has also invested in many nutritional invention programs to improve the food and nutrition security of the masses, thereby filling the nutrient deficit of the vulnerable sections of society. Nutrition and health education has been recognized as an important tool for the promotion of nutrition and perhaps the most cost-effective tool for improving the quality of life and the development of the community and the nation. Recognizing the importance of an integrated approach to health/nutrition education, the government organizes the training of grassroots officials from the relevant sectors at the village level.
The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has adopted a strategy of organizing health melas to provide health education and early diagnosis in addition to providing completely free health care services. These health melas are envisioned to attract citizens willing to avail quality health care services with essential pathological tests. The melas are a powerful vector of information on the various health programs run by the central government, state government, NGOs, etc. and different systems of medicine.
The Eat Right India movement incorporates mass media including social media as part of its public outreach. Eat Right India’s initiatives include a logo demonstrating the components of an optimal diet, training for frontline health officials; an online retailer promoting healthy eating; and online quizzes to raise awareness about proper nutrition. Food and nutrition education in schools/colleges can provide children, adolescents, school staff and communities with learning experiences designed to encourage healthy eating habits and positive behaviors related to optimal nutrition. It is important to use a combination of evidence-based and behavior-oriented educational strategies that involve the active participation of students, school staff, the college, and the wider community. Guidance on implementing a health-focused food/nutrition curriculum should be established at the national level to ensure a defined role for health and nutrition in the national education system. Health/nutrition awareness should be imparted to provide knowledge and skills regarding the relationship between good diet, physical activity and health; healthy food preparation/consumption identification of barriers to making healthy food choices and solutions for overcoming these barriers providing media and marketing information to the masses, particularly regarding misleading food choices.
Changing eating habits with reduced physical activity is a growing phenomenon around the world. People consume more foods high in energy, saturated fat, trans fat, free sugars, sodium salt, and less fruits, vegetables, and dietary fiber like whole grains, legumes. Nutritious food is an essential building block of health. Therefore, foods must provide the necessary nutrients in appropriate amounts to meet the body’s needs. Nutrient excess and deficiency are equally harmful and have lasting adverse effects on family and community health. It is therefore of the utmost importance to effectively tackle this problem and raise awareness in the community about the importance of good health and optimal nutrition. A good diet, regular physical activity and sufficient sleep are essential conditions for a healthy life. A holistic approach is needed to promote the concept of optimal nutrition across the country. Innovative multi-sectoral approaches are needed to engage all age groups covering all strata of society. Consider cultural diversity in eating habits/practices and purchasing power parity to raise awareness about healthy eating. Appropriate initiative must be taken from childhood in schools, kindergartens in families, so that the foundation stone for healthy eating and good health is laid at the right age and can be passed on well to future generations as well. .
(The author is a former librarian of Dy University of Jammu).