The ministry of women and child development is all set to come out with a new set of composite national guidelines to address the issue of malnutrition in the next fortnight and set out a roadmap for states to develop a balanced diet to ensure that there is neither under-nutrition nor over - nutrition.
In the second of a series of webinars being organised to mark nutrition month, the WCD ministry on Tuesday brought focus on the criticality of investing in the first 1000 days of a child's life to prevent stunting and later life diseases.
While agreeing that the concerns over preventing "over - nutrition" were as critical as dealing with under-nutrition, WCD minister Smriti Irani said that the composite guidelines seek to address all these concerns and provide the roadmap for the right balance.
The webinar on Tuesday saw Professor AV Kurpad, former Head of Physiology, St John’s Medical College shared that a new nutrient requirement book is being written by ICMR and National Institute of Nutrition where they have come up with a new population metric defined as the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR). “It is very different from the value used up to now called the Recommended Dietary Requirement. EAR is the value you should feed the population,” Professor Kurpad said. He also raised the issue of overeating of nutrients which can have adverse health impacts.
The WCD minister sought to know from him if they have enough scientific evidence to guide the ministry in the new guidelines so that they can find a balance between the EAR and RDA. Kurpad responded in the affirmative and he went on to explain that “it is important to focus on the first two years to stop the child from faltering and that is where a balanced mix of Take-Home Rations become very important.” He also advised that normal, affordable, diverse home-cooked diets are adequate to meet nutritional requirements.
Dr H.P.S. Sachdev, professor of paediatrics and clinical epidemiology also stressed that nutrition from the time of conception to two years of age is crucial for a good start to a productive life. He also cautioned against over-nourishing or over-feed a child as it can make them vulnerable in the long run to diseases like diabetes and hypertension in adulthood.
Click Here to view the Webinar conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development on 8th September, 2020.