The National Nutrition Week (NNW), an annual nutrition event initiated by Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India in the year 1982, is observed throughout the country from 1st to 7th September every year. The theme for the National Nutrition Week 2021 is Feed Smart Right from the Start.
The main objective to celebrate this event is to raise awareness on the importance of nutrition for health which has an impact on development, productivity, economic growth and ultimately National development. It highlights the importance and role of the right nutrition for the human body and the reason to have a balanced diet with a combination of essential nutrients. There are many people today in India who are malnourished and require a proper diet to improve their body growth.
The NNW seeks to raise awareness about the importance of proper nutrition in a diet for a healthy body. A well-balanced diet that includes various essential nutrients plays a significant role in the growth and development of our mind and body; which is why health experts emphasize the importance of eating vegetables and fruits as a part of our daily intake.
Nutrition, in simple words, is the process of obtaining or acquiring the food essential for one’s growth and development, or the physiological and biochemical process that an organism undergoes in order to use the food for meeting the energy needs. The process of nutrition involves a number of different stages that take place sequentially, including: Ingestion, Absorption, Assimilation, Biosynthesis, Catabolism, and Excretion.
Nutrition is seen as the science or practice of consuming and utilising foods. Food provides our body with energy, protein, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals to live, grow, and function properly. Therefore, a balanced diet is important for good health and well being. All the seven nutrients that human body requires don’t provide energy but still are important like water and fiber. Even micronutrients are also important but are required in smaller amounts. The essential organic compounds are vitamins that the body cannot synthesise.
It is said that an unhealthy diet increases the risk of many diet-related diseases. Good nutrition helps us to maintain well-being, positive mood and concentration, manage healthy weight, and immune system, provide energy, delays the effect of ageing, reduce risk of chronic illnesses, and improves life span.
Any tilt in the nutritional balance is often referred to as malnutrition. It can be due to under-nutrition or over-nutrition. Under-nutrition can be caused due to a lack of calories, protein, or other nutrients, whereas over-nutrition occurs due to consumption of too many calories. Someone eats more calories as against their body needs also leads to the malnourished condition. Maybe they are not eating nutritious food like fruits, vegetables, proteins, whole grains, etc., which can result in vitamin, mineral, or protein deficiencies. Malnutrition especially in young children can lead to stunted growth, developmental delays, and more sickness due to poor immune function. It is important that malnutrition is diagnosed in a timely manner.
National Nutrition Mission named as the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nutrition (POSHAN) Abhiyaan was launched in 2017, as a multi-ministerial convergence mission, with the overarching vision to make India malnutrition free by 2022.
POSHAN Abhiyaan is the Government of India’s flagship programme to improve nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women and lactating mothers by leveraging technology, a targeted approach and convergence. The initiative lays emphasis on creating synergy between various programmes in health, nutrition, sanitation sectors etc., to ensure efficiency and effective outcomes.
Remember, a balanced diet plays an important role in our life to be healthy and for that proper knowledge about nutrition is very necessary. So, to make people aware of healthy life and proper intake of diet National Nutrition Week is celebrated from 1st to 7th September every year.