National Nutrition Week

1st September to 7th September – a week where India celebrates Nutrition every year. 

We know Health is Wealth might be cliché, but it’s true! And your diet contributes significantly to your health. 

The National Nutrition Week, or more appropriately, Bharat Nutrition Week, dedicates the first seven days of September to creating awareness about ‘Good Food and Nutrition.’ The week brings together various organizations, institutions, and individuals involved at grassroots levels to address the country’s malnutrition problems. 

India is a country of extremes. On the one hand, where we have people who cannot even afford proper two meals a day, on another, we have the elite class that takes airs in eating outside and junk food quite so frequently. While the former cannot afford a healthy life, the latter ignores the same. 

Valuing nutritional food doesn’t mean that each morsel you eat outside is unhealthy and carries a health risk. It is all about maintaining a balance. One must definitely munch at different places; after all, this is what outings, breaks, and parties are meant for. However, making this a daily routine is not in favor of your body and you. 

Following a healthy and balanced diet pattern is of the essence here. Our diet also needs to change based on various factors.

  • Age
  • Lifestyle
  • Gender
  • Physical activity
  • Dwelling area
  • Cultural and food customs

As always, flexibility is the key – rigidity won’t help! 

Malnutrition problem

It is agonizing to see that over 30% of the world’s malnourished children are living in India. The poor economic condition and lack of knowledge of the majority of our population lead to such distressing scenarios. 

The life of an individual starts from a woman’s womb, and so does its diet and health. It is imperative for an expecting mother to eat and live healthily. However, in a low-income status that doesn’t allow enough food (both quality and quantity) for a single person, women are expected to carry a baby within. Not just once, she (mis)uses her fragile body to give birth to multiple (feeble) lives. All this is absurd, yet a fact! And the legacy continues…

What can we do?

While we may not change the world, we can do our bit to assist the government in its initiative. As a citizen, I believe we have a dual responsibility here.

  1. Our responsibility towards ourselves and our families

Let’s start with appreciating how blessed we are that we can eat of our choice. We need to ensure our choice prioritizes health with taste to make most of this blessing. Including healthy food in our meals would help our families and us. We must change and adjust our diet chart, considering our age, lifestyle, and work culture.

  1. Our responsibility toward the society

We might overlook it, but each of us has a duty towards our society and nation at large. All of us can, in our own small and unique ways help and guide the deprived ones. This is the reason we co-exist in an ecosystem.

Let’s not go very far and start with maybe a person cleaning our house. We can educate them about good food – healthy food is not always pricey! There are many matters we can discuss with them and probably help them gain the awareness they need. Having said that, I think while doing so, we must see the situation and the way we talk to them. Pouncing on them won’t help; instead, it will most likely shoo them off. We need to understand that they have grown with this culture and limited knowledge, that we won’t be able to change instantly. However, our patience and persistence might help ☺

Another critical aspect before we end – about cleaning and sanitizing of our food, utensils, and cooking premises. Our utensils and contact surfaces should be clean and sanitized using ‘safe’ sanitizers. This should ensure cleanliness, reduction (or elimination) in the number of micro-organisms and resulting infections, and safe food, free from any chemicals.

Wishing you a healthy and nutritive Septet September

Avani Raj Arora

11 thoughts on “National Nutrition Week”
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