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Non-Communicable diseases due to packaged and processed food

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Excessive intake of sugar, sodium and trans fats is the risk factor of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).  As informed by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), per capita consumption of packaged items in India is low as compared to countries such as United State of America.

Government of India is implementing National Programme for Prevention and Control of Cancer, Diabetes, Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke (NPCDCS) in all the States/UTs under National Health Mission (NHM). The objectives of the programme include inter alia awareness generation on healthy diet.

For early diagnosis, population based prevention, control and screening for common NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension and common cancer viz. oral, breast & cervical has been initiated by Government by utilizing the services of the frontline-workers and health-workers under existing Primary Healthcare System.  This process will also generate awareness on healthy diet and risk factors of common NCDs.

To address the issue of High Fat, Sugar and Salt (HFSS) in food and associated health risks, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) constituted an Expert Group. FSSAI has issued draft Guidelines titled ‘Guidelines for making available Wholesome, Nutritious, Safe and Hygienic Food to School Children in India’.

FSSAI has also undertaken initiatives to ensure delivery of safe, nutritious and healthy food for all citizens by an integrated approach through its Safe and Nutritious Food (SNF) campaign, covering home, school, work place and eating out. Under these initiatives, FSSAI is bringing out different series of booklets/pamphlets/flyers for consumer education and awareness. The school teachers are being trained to promote healthy diets among school children.

A healthy lifestyle booklet has been developed for the school children which is jointly released by Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare and Union Minister of Human Resource Development. More than 500,000 copies have been distributed to the states for dissemination of information.

Ministry of Human Resources Development is implementing National Programme of Mid-Day-Meal in Schools with the objective to improve the nutritional status of children studying in Class 1 – VIII in Government and Government –Aided Schools, Special Training Centres (STC) and Madrasas & Maqtabs supported under Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA).