Need for Urgent and Rapid Implementation of WHO and FSSAI Guidelines

IN recent times there has been upsurge of diseases like diabetes and heart ailments people especially among the younger lot. The increased consumption of packaged food and sedentary lifestyle are said to be the primary reasons for it. Studies by WHO and the lancet medical journal reveal that 15,735,95 deaths in India are caused by an inadequate diet. This study conducted by WHO claims that youngsters are resorting to cheap and unhealthy food options that mainly comprise snacks. The mindless consumption of these calorie dense and nutrient deficient foods has become pervasive because of it’s easy availability and cheap pricing. The factors responsible for its immense popularity and low pricing is a debate for another day, to be precise it's a consequence of Neo-colonisation. The repercussions of it’s substitution for pure traditional home cooked meals are chilling. A human standard business report suggest that in 2017,”an estimated 11 million deaths were attributed to poor diet. Diets high in sodium, low in whole grain and low in fruit together accounted for more than half of all the diet related deaths globally in 2017”.A recent report by print suggests that Nestle which is originally a Swiss company has admitted that over 60% of its food and beverage products are unhealthy. Not only does the consumption of this “Ultra processed” food lead to obesity and health ailments but it also inhibits the absorption of vital nutrients from other foods. Dr Subhasree Ray who is a certified diabetes educator writes in her article, “ In India’s booming junk food market, there is little room for nutrition” about the link between decreased Vitamin D level and frequent consumption of instant noodles. These trends are alarming and will lead to a disaster if there is no timely intervention, there is a dire need for the government to step in and ensure the guidelines issued by WHO and FSSAI ( Food safety and standard authority of India) are strictly implemented. The need to have a robust and strong immune system has become even more important during the pandemic as good immunity is what is enabling people to fight off the deadly coronavirus.

Sabira Farooq 

[email protected]

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