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Educating Masses on Health and Nutrition

There is a consistent rise in the problems of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity, etc. across the global.

What are the benefits of better nutrition?

1. Nutrition helps in human development by imparting immunity.

2. It reduces morbidity, mortality and disability. 

3. But the amount of nutrition taken should be optimum and coupled with regular physical activity. 

Which are the efforts taken to improve health and nutrition?

1. Consistent efforts are made through various schemes/ programmes aiming at effective management to address malnutrition. 

2. Government organizes training at grassroot level including functionaries belonging to concerned sectors like agriculture, health, women & child development, education, etc. at village/ block level. 

3. POSHAN Abhiyan was launched in 2018 to improve the nutritional status of children and mothers.

4. Month of September is celebrated as Rashtriya Poshan Maah. 

5. Pradhan Mantri Swasthya Surakhsa Yojana was launched in 2003.

6. National Health Mission (NHM) encompassing National Rural Health Mission (NHRM) and National Urban Health Mission (NUHM) was launched.

7. NHM aims at attaining universal access to equitable, affordable and quality health care services.

8. National Healthcare Innovations Portal was launched.

9. Ayushman Bharat aims at construction of 1.5 lakh Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) and to provide health insurance under Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY).

10. Intensified Mission Indradhanush is an immunization programme launched in 2017. 

11. “Eat India Right’ movement aims at generating public awareness. 

12. Food and nutrition education in schools and colleges is provided.

13. India is planning to ban the sale or serving of junk foods in school/ college cafeterias and stores nearby to promote healthy food. 

Where do we need to focus?

1. All health & nutrition interventions should be designed for long-term sustainability.

2. Stakeholders across all levels need to be kept well informed and encouraged to participate in creating a support system. 

3. People should be educated to adopt and practice a healthy lifestyle. 

4. Employers, communities, schools, hospitals, etc. need to implement organizational strategies for healthy eating. 

5. A paradigm shift from curative to preventive approach to disease is needed at individual as well as mass level. 

6. Effective communication strategies like use of mass media for generating awareness is needed. 

7. A holistic approach is needed to promote the concept of optimum nutrition and doing sufficient physical activities in the entire nation.