National Nutrition Week 2022: Eat right, eat safe, eat healthy
Nutrition is one of the most critical parts to maintain a healthy body. Observed every year from September 1 to September 7, National Nutrition Week aims to promote the importance of a well-balanced diet and how it helps to upkeep our overall health. The program is organized by the Food and Nutrition Board of India under the Ministry of Women and Child Development.
History of the day
The American Dietetic Association, now called the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics established National Nutrition Week in 1975. The primary aim was to increase public awareness about nutrition and promote the role of dieticians. In 1980, the celebrations stretched for one month after receiving a positive response. Since, 1982, India began celebrating the week to urge citizens to follow a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Significance of the day
The National Nutrition Week marks the importance and role of a healthy diet in the human body, and how a balanced diet packed with essential nutrients helps in healthy development and function. The Government of India has also started various programs to promote wholesome eating, good nutrition, and a healthy lifestyle. It also makes people aware of the consequences of unhealthy eating habits.
India's standing in the world on the health front
India ranked overall at 66 with a score of 42.8 and a decline of 0.8 points since 2019 in the global health security index among 195 nations. The report highlights that India has made substantial progress in detection and reporting category but needs more improvement.
Why healthy eating should be encouraged?
Dr. Anant Pandhare, Medical Director - Dr. Hedgewar Hospital, BAVP, said, "It is important to have nutritionally rich foods which are unprocessed and free from chemical additives. They keep us in good health and protect us from chronic diseases." "In addition to this, healthy eating may help us live longer, keep our skin, teeth, and eyes healthy, and boost immunity," Dr. Pandhare added.
Some tips to stay fit and healthy
Dr. Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist suggests having a combination of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, etc. He also recommends less sugar and salt while avoiding harmful fats. Dr. Bhargava recommends at least 40-45 minutes of daily exercise and drinking lots of water. He also advises to go for regular medical checkups and avoid excess consumption of cigarettes and alcohol.
Why awareness about nutrition is needed, especially after COVID-19 outbreak?
Dr. Pandhare said, "Awareness about eating a balanced diet is a special tool for reducing the impact of a pandemic like COVID-19." "Further, to eradicate malnutrition, we especially need to focus on the nutritional deficiencies among the poor and downtrodden in our villages and tribal areas, and take measures to elevate their lifestyle and health," the doctor added.
Nutritious food is helpful in avoiding post-COVID-19 complications: Dr. Pandhare
"Nutritious food is helpful for faster recovery and avoiding further post-COVID-19 complications," Dr. Pandhare said. He also said that COVID-19 patients treated with steroids like Remdesivir experience a rise in blood sugar levels, leading to diabetes, and a healthy diet can help tackle such conditions.