Key Themes

India is plagued with the triple burden of malnutrition that includes food borne illnesses, undernutrition and micronutrient malnutrition, overnutrition and non-communicable diseases.
In order to reduce food-borne illnesses, it is essential to ensure safe food along the food value chain and combat food adulteration. In order to prevent and control non-communicable diseases, it is important to focus on healthy diets for adults and particularly infants during the first 1000 days of life. To combat micronutrient malnutrition, it is important to scale-up strategies such as food fortification in addition to dietary diversification and nutrient supplementation. Finally, to fight hunger and undernutrition, it is imperative to ensure that there is no food waste.

These themes are also aligned to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations:

Themes in Action

Theme 1: Safe Food

Food safety is critical to prevent food-borne diseases, which not only put a huge burden on our healthcare systems but also incur economic costs and waste invaluable working man-hours thereby hampering the growth and development of the country. Therefore, it has been aptly said, "Food that is not safe, is not food." Unsafe food creates a vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition, particularly affecting infants, young children, elderly and the sick.

Recognizing the importance of food safety in promoting good health, as a

Health professional, I will educate my patients, relatives, staff & colleagues about hygiene and food safety.

Nutritionist/Dietician, I will stress on the importance of maintaining personal and surrounding hygiene to my clients & colleagues. food safety.

Food technologist, I will advocate use of safe ingredients for the development of food products.

Food analyst, I will disseminate information on tests for food safety and ways to prevent growth of pathogens that cause food-borne illnesses.

Researcher/Professor, I will communicate simple tips on food safety to students and peers.

Chef, I will adopt and showcase best practices on food safety in the kitchen.

These actions will help meet SDG-3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and SDG-6 (Clean Water and Sanitation).

Theme 2: Combat Food Adulteration

Combating food adulteration is the cornerstone of food safety. Adulteration reduces the quality and nature of the food either through addition of adulterants or removal of vital substances. Food adulterants can cause a range of health problems. India has a high number of food safety violations as per a global survey. Therefore, it is critical to combat food adulteration across the country to ensure safety of food and protect the health of the population.

Understanding the severity of the problem of food adulteration and need for urgent action, as a

Health professional, I will educate my patients, relatives, staff and colleagues on the ill-effects of consuming adulterated food and direct them to resources to check these food adulterants at home.

Nutritionist/Dietician, I will demonstrate ways of checking common food adulterants using resources developed by FSSAI and also create awareness regarding the ill effects of common adulterants.

Food technologist, I will advocate testing of food products for adulteration.

Food analyst, I will review and update the repository of tests to detect food adulterants, periodically.

Researcher/Professor, I will supervise students to carry out analytical studies on safety of foods.

Chef, I will ensure foods are tested for adulterants before use in the kitchen and propagate the same in the chef community.

These actions will help meet SDG-3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and SDG-12(Responsible Consumption and Production)

Theme 3: Healthy Diets

Malnutrition has remained the number one cause of death and disability in India over the past 15 years. The common denominator in all forms of malnutrition such as wasting, stunting, anemia, high blood pressure, obesity/overweight, diabetes other non-communicable diseases is imbalanced food consumption in terms of quantity and quality. A balanced diet is critical to combat malnutrition. Unfortunately, despite growing incomes, the quality of diets has largely remained poor at both the ends of spectrum of socioeconomic strata thus depriving the majority of people of essential nutrients. Moreover, changing lifestyles have resulted in the dilution of traditional Indian food culture rich with local, regional, seasonal and healthy foods.
A complete and balanced healthy diet consists of sufficient quantities of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins as well as micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals along with fibre and safe water. As per the Eat Lancet Commission, the Planetary Health Diet is a global reference diet for adults, which is symbolically represented by half a plate of fruits, vegetables and nuts. The other half consists of primarily whole grains, plant proteins (beans, lentils, pulses), unsaturated plant oils, modest amounts of meat and dairy, and some added sugars and starchy vegetables. This diet may be adapted as per individual preferences and cultural food traditions. Moreover, use of local, seasonal and fresh food ingredients will ensure maximum availability of nutrients.

Realizing the importance of promoting healthy diets to combat all forms of malnutrition, as a

Health professional, I will educate patients, relatives, staff and colleagues on the importance of reducing fat, salt and sugar in diet and eating a balanced diet for good health.

Nutritionist/Dietician,I will educate people about healthy diets, encourage the adoption of healthy habits through behaviour change techniques and disseminate/create resources for the same.

Food technologist, I will support development of healthy products low in fat, salt and sugar.

Food analyst,I will help determine the accurate nutrient and calorific values for food products for public education.

Researcher/Professor, I will encourage youth to engage in evidence based research especially focussing on local, seasonal and indigenous varieties, and cultural heritage to offer food-based solutions to tackle major public health concerns.

Chef, I will create healthy recipes made from local, seasonal and choose varied ingredients for all regions. I will work with Nutritionists to develop options where nutrition and taste come together.

These actions will help meet SDG-2 (Zero Hunger). SDG-3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and SDG-12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

Theme 4: Food Fortification

Food fortification is a simple, cost-effective, proven and scalable strategy to address widespread micronutrient malnutrition. FSSAI has notified standards of fortification for five staple foods namely, wheat flour, rice, salt, milk and edible oil. Wheat flour and rice are fortified with Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron. Edible oil and milk are fortified with Vitamin A and D. Salt is fortified with iodine and iron. Through the Food Fortification Resource Centre(FFRC), set up at FSSAI, in collaboration with various stakeholders, fortified staples are being mainstreamed in Government safety net programmes such as the ICDS, MDM and PDS and also made available in the open market through consistent follow up with producers of the staples. Additionally, consumer awareness campaigns have been launched to create demand for fortified food products.

Supporting the ongoing efforts to scale-up food fortification to fight micronutrient malnutrition, as a

Health professional, I will educate my patients, relatives, staff and colleagues on importance of including fortified ingredients in the diet to reduce micronutrient deficiencies.

Nutritionist/Dietician, I will encourage people to buy fortified food products available in the market.

Food technologist, I will assist the food industry to maintain standards to adopt fortified foods and conduct trainings for Food Safety Officers (FSOs).

Food analyst,I will develop simple and easy methods to detect fortificants in fortified foods for masses.

Researcher/Professor,I will develop better technologies to fortify food products. I will also conduct research to enrich the Indian data base with studies on the impact of consumption of fortified food along with natural sources to combat hidden hunger in vulnerable groups like young children, adolescent, pregnant and lactating mothers.

Chef, I will use micronutrient rich natural foods and add fortified ingredients to maximize its benefits and advocate the same across the food industry.

These actions will help meet SDG-2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG-3 (Good Health and Well-Being).

Theme 5: Nutrition During First 1000 Days

Taking a life-cycle approach to health and nutrition, it is important to note that nutritious food is most essential during the first 1000 days of an infant's life. This stage is the most critical in terms of growth and development of the body and brain as well as protection against diseases during these early, vulnerable days and later in life. Therefore, adequate nutrition for pregnant and lactating mothers as well as newborns and infants up to two years of age is essential. Infants breastfed exclusively for the first six months and then up to two years with complementary feeding, get the best start in life. Therefore, it is important to adress hurdles because of certain age old practices and advice of acquaintances through mass education programs.

Recognizing the importance of nutrition during the first 1000 days of life and its relationship to better outcomes in nutritional status and metabolic health of the infants and children along with the ongoing efforts to scale-up food fortification to fight micronutrient malnutrition, as a

Health professional, I will educate pregnant and lactating mothers on the importance of eating healthy and exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months followed by nutritionally balanced practices of complimentary foods for infants upto 2 years.

Nutritionist/Dietician,I will educate pregnant and lactating mothers to eat healthy foods and make balanced nutrition a priority and urge them to use nutritionally sound options from locally made complementary foods for infants. I will also encourage pregnant women and lactating mothers to reach out to professional help from Nutritionist/Dieticians.

Food technologist, I will work as a team with nutritionists to train frontline health workers to disseminate healthy messages in the community

Food analyst,I will develop methods to evaluate nutrition composition of locally available food and nutritious options which can be used by pregnant and lactating mothers.

Researcher/Professor,I will encourage students to engage in Action Research to develop I w intervention models customized to the community needs, to understand the prevalence of nutrition related problems especially during pregnancy and lactation, underlying factors and find strategies which lead to favourable outcomes.

Chef, I will create healthy recipes made from local, seasonal and varied ingredients for all regions for pregnant and lactating mothers. I will work with Nutritionists to develop options where Nutrition and taste come together.

These actions will help meet SDG-3 (Good Health and Well-Being).

Theme 6: No Food Waste

One in every nine individuals around the world today experiences hunger, despite the fact that enough food exists to feed every individual. Hunger kills more people than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined globally. Therefore, it is important to not only reduce food waste by adopting sustainable mechanisms both at the manufacturing and household level but also share surplus food with those in need.

Realizing the importance of no food waste and sharing surplus food to meet to Zero Hunger SDG,, as a

Health professional, I will counsel my patients, relatives, staff and colleagues to reduce food waste at home and share surplus food with those in need.

Nutritionist/Dietician, I will educate people on behaviour change strategies to reduce food waste such as portion control, best buying, storing and cooking practices

Food technologist, I will advocate for and develop innovative ways of reducing food waste.

Food analyst,I will spread awareness among my professional community to reduce food waste.

Researcher/Professor,I will advocate for adopting ways to recycle food waste including setting up of compost pits at the institutions

Chef, I will ensure best practices in reducing food waste in restaurants and ensure sharing of surplus food with those in need.

These actions will help meet SDG-2(Zero Hunger) and SDG-12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).