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Nutrition policy for healthy India on cards

The Ministry of Women and child Development in India soon plans to hold rounds of discussions with nutritional experts, child health specialists, researchers and academicians to suggest initiatives and steps for drafting a nutrition policy for children.

By Shubhendu Parth
New Delhi: Worried about the growing trend of obesity amongst children in the country the Ministry of Women and child Development in India is planning to soon come out with a nutrition policy.

Informing this, the country's Minister for Women and child Development Renuka Chowdhury, on Thursday, said that her Ministry is planning to hold rounds of discussions with nutritional experts, child health specialists, researchers and academicians to suggest initiatives and steps for drafting a nutrition policy for the children.

Expressing concern over recent reports about increasing obesity and lifestyle related diseases among the children, Chowdhury also informed that the Ministry was working on guidelines to be circulated among the schools and awareness campaign among the parents to check malnutrition.

She further stated that a viable strategy would be prepared for effective intervention to combat obesity among children and adolescents.

Underlining the importance of physical activities and sports for child health, Chowdhury said that her Ministry would request the Urban Development Ministry and the state governments to consider making the provision for playing space mandatory before approving any housing project.

The Minister also urged the processed food industry and fast food manufacturers to encourage whole-wheat and whole-pulp products.

She was speaking at a Colloquium on obesity in children and adolescents organised by her Ministry, to understand the prevalence, trends and factors contributing to obesity and related problems and to suggest strategy to overcome these.

The conference was attended by nearly 60 child health and nutritional experts who stressed on the need for immediate measures to check increasing trends of obesity, as these are associated with incidents of hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart disease and mortality during the adult life.

Really timely decision taken by the government because today's children are tomorrow's deciding personalities may they grow healthier to built a healthy India. Nutritionist have their vital role in this concern. The right time to implement the same.

We the staff of department of Foods & Nutrition, MS University of Baroda have an extensive experience in these issues as we are also a WHO collaborating center for chronic disease control and would appreciate if our department receives invitations for such important meetings as we can truly cotribute to development of nutrition policies for schools and through this channel request the WCD minister to include us in their panel constituted to develop the policy and other related issues.

one more nutrition policy, but still the majority of my country's children live in the villages, there food itself is the matter of concern and not obesiety. lets get food for every mouth first.govt policies sometimes only remain in the books, let us bring them into practice. let us feed every mouth and teach every child that will ensure a healthy nation.

Congratulations for initiating a nutritional policy.Minister for Women and child Development and Minister for Health are deeply concern about Indians children and their recent activities came through media put lots of hope among us.Let me clear who is concern about children? A parent? we put our child in a washing machine and add some detergent!(Money)and we hope system will work -- some polished CEO/GM/Engineer/Doctor/etc comes out and by the same way they put their children in the same washing machine...

What is FOOD?
What is Nutrition?
What is Health?
What is Optimal Health?

We all know the definition there are lots of paper we can cite but what we eat day and night? Who will take charge!! 70% Indian children suffering from anemia?

One in every ten children in Kolkata is at the risk of heart attack (TOI 8.4.08).

Guide me what I can do for INDIA?
Durgasankar Bandyopadhyay

Congratulations for initiating a nutritional policy. The policy should address malnutrition which includes undernutrition as well as overnutrition[obesity]. Undernutrition is common in muncipal/govt schools while obesity in pvt schools. There is aneed to involve health dept&edu dept with parents associations. An integrated approach is the need of hour. A concept of child to child approach, which we are following will do wonders.

We are at the cross-roads.The approach must be holistic & intersectoral for both the situations-over as well as under nutrition.Iron Deficiency(Nutritional)Anaemia is the biggest nutritional problem all over the world.Same thing applies to other Micro-nutrients.We can change the socio-economic status of the country by applying small measures which go a long way.Congratulations to the Ministry!

While one welcomes such moves by a concerned Govt to minimise these lifestyle diseases, there is an urgent need to look at how information communication technologies and its gadgets have changed the way, perhaps for ever, we live. With everything being served by just click of a button, how would any child motivate himself/herself to go 'to fetch a pail of water'. With increasing pocket money and easy accessibility of instant food joints, we can't blame the child if he indulges in some easy pleasures. My point is, how about parents or teachers or resident welfare associations in cities to make it compulsory to ensure that every child does some excercise or outdoor games daily. We can also follow Great Britain and introduce an obesity tax to deter the bulging child populace. Peer group pressure will ensure that when these 'fads' catches on, it will spread like wildfire and become a prestige issue for any child. Easy accessibility to a neighbourhood play ground would also be beneficial, of course. And the parents should also lead by example and not indulge in too much couch potato activities. Even bicycle riding would ensure some much needed flexing of muscles besides its eco-friendly feature. Surely, a matter of great great concern in changing times for everybody. Kudos to minister for raising the issue and trying in finding a f(a)ight(t)y solution.

This is indeed a very commendable initiative taken by the WCD dept. In order to implement the policy and overcome this situation of overnutrition and undernutrition it would be necessery to take Education dept and health department as an active partner, Thanks

This is indeed a very commendable step. We are already late. Studies carried out in the Dept. of Foods & Nutrition, The M.S. University of Baroda have generated enough data and also identified the risk factors associated with overweight and obesity in school age children. That is not all, undernutrition and overnutrition co exist in this group. They show low hemoglobin levels, poor vitamin A status coupled with obesity and overweight. It requires active participation by schools and parents to affect behaviour change.

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