What is National Nutrition Week?
National Nutrition Week is an annual nutrition event observed throughout the country during the first week of September (i.e. from 1st September till 7th September). It was launched in 1982 by the Food and Nutrition Board, under the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India. The primary objective of National Nutrition Week is to spread awareness among masses about the importance of healthy eating habits and well-balanced diets for maintaining a healthy body. Each year Nutrition Week is organised with a special theme. The theme for this year’s nutrition week is “Har Ghar PoshanVyavahar”. The theme encompasses five domains: care during 1000 days, personal hygiene, anemia mukt bharat, awareness on poshtik aahar and diarrhoea control.
Why is it organised?
Undernutrition remains a major problem in India affecting a large section of the population. On one hand, there is widespread undernutrition in the form of stunting, wasting, underweight and micronutrient deficiencies. And on the other hand, there is increasing burden of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes, overweight and obesity and cancer. A well-balanced nutritious diet, rich in macro and micronutrients is essential for all the age groups to carry out normal body functions and maintain an optimal health. However, lack of knowledge among masses about the importance of eating a well-balanced diet and ways of achieving it within limited means affects their nutritional status.
Malnutrition not only affects the health status of an individual but also affects national productivity, economic growth and development. Therefore, in order to improve the nutritional status of population, the National Nutrition Week is organised to spread awareness about right and healthy eating choices through various platforms using mass media.
Activities undertaken during the National Nutrition Week
Various activities are organised during the National Nutrition Week all over the country to generate awareness among people about the importance of healthy diets, ways of achieving it in and its relationship to health and disease. The Food and Nutrition Board through its 43 Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUs) organises workshops, camps, training sessions, community meetings, lectures, films and exhibitions in collaboration with concerned departments of the State Governments, educational and health institutions and non-governmental organisations. Various other activities organised during this week include nutrition quiz, puppet shows, poster making and essay writing competitions, exhibitions, demonstration of healthy recipes and nutrition rally. These activities not only aim at improving the knowledge of people but also aim at enhancing their nutrition related skills and practices. Their primary focus revolves around nutrition and health topics such as immunisation, hygiene and sanitation, infant and young child feeding practices, ways of consuming a well-balanced diet and ways of conserving nutrients during cooking process.
Activities organised by FHTS during National Nutrition Week
Foundation of Healthcare Technologies Societies (FHTS) conducted various activities and organised health camps in Delhi as part of the National Nutrition Week on three days at different locations: school, Anganwadi centre and old age home. Camps were organised with the objective of spreading awareness about health and nutrition related topics such as balanced diets, oral hygiene, exercise, menstrual hygiene and geriatric nutrition.