Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare recently inaugurated the ‘72nd Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South-East Asia' in New Delhi.
Stressing on the need for right and healthy nutrition, Dr Harsh Vardhan stated that the government is observing the entire month of September as “Poshan Maah” (Nutrition Month) to sensitize the public towards healthy eating, address the twin issues of malnutrition/undernutrition and problem of obesity in some sections of the population, and intensifying the campaign towards a ‘Malnutrition-Free India’.
Dr Harsh Vardhan further said that unsafe food and poor diet create a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and sick. “India is passing through an epidemiological shift from communicable to non-communicable diseases, and the burden of diet-related diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity is rising rapidly. I am happy to share with you that the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has adopted a “food systems approach” to ensure our citizens have access to safe and healthy food,” he elaborated. He further said that this approach judiciously combines the regulatory and capacity building measures with consumer empowerment initiatives. Citizens are being sensitized through a people’s movement called ‘Eat Right India’. “It’s tagline, Sahi Bhojan. Behtar Jeevan’ – ‘Right diet leads to better quality life’ depicts India’s commitment to preventive and promotive healthcare as an important pillar of our health policy, he mentioned.
“I must take this opportunity to thank our Youth Icon, the cricket superstar Virat Kohli, who has helped us to launch a massive campaign. “Eat Right, Stay Fit, Tabhi India Super Fit”, Dr Harsh Vardhan said. He informed that three days ago, Hon’ble Prime Minister launched the 'Fit India' Movement' coinciding with the National Sports day celebrations. This campaign aims at encouraging people to include physical activity and sports as a routine in their everyday life. This, along with Eat Right India campaign, will help us to fight lifestyle diseases like hypertension, obesity and diabetes effectively, he said.