Malnutrition hits 50 percent population, moot told

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 Voicing concern that malnutrition was hitting more than 50 per cent of the country’s population, speakers at an international conference held on the topic of “Nutritional Therapies against the lifestyle disorders” stressed the need for strengthening food fortification programme at national level, particularly in iron, wheat flour, salt iodization, vitamins A & D, edible oil and ghee.


Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) Executive Director Dr Mansoor Akbar Kundi was the chief guest at the moot which was held under the aegis of National Institute of Food Science and Technology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.


The conference recommended usage of whole grains and whole wheat flour, besides promoting technologies for developing multi-functional foods.


They also recommended that research fortification projects being carried out by the universities in the country should be encouraged by the government.


Talking about the most effective and sustainable approaches to combat nutrient deficiencies and other health disorder, they said that diet diversification, supplementation and food fortification were essential. They also said traditional foods should make part of regular diet due to nutritional significance against physiological threats.


They said that the School Health & Nutrition Supervisors must be graduate in Human Nutrition & Dietetics; Food & Nutrition and Food Science & Technology.


Dr Kundi said that the HEC was making all-out effort to ensure quality education at the national level.


He exhorted the people to have a balanced diet, besides making exercise a regular feature of their life.


At the outset, he assured the UAF of the HEC’s full support in educational and research activities.


UAF Vice Chancellor Professor (Dr) Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that malnutrition was one of the biggest challenges being faced by the country.


He was of the view that the changing lifestyle and eating habits were the root cause of many diseases, including heart, diabetics, obesity, etc.


He suggested use of a balanced diet keeping in view its nutritional value and making the physical activities like exercise, walk or sports as matter of routine.


A French nutritional expert, Dr Frederic, said that such conferences provided an opportunity to the people to sit together and devise a roadmap to overcome the challenges. He said that malnutrition was a serious threat and must be tackled on priority.


Indian nutritionist, Dr Jasvinder Kaur Sangha, underscored the need for creating awareness among the masses regarding seriousness of malnutrition.


Egyptian expert Dr Ahmed El Ghorab also recommended that cross-disciplinary teams and approaches must be comprised to address the complex issues associated with malnutrition. NIFSAT Director General Dr Masood Sadiq Butt said that sugar, blood pressure and other diseases are commonly being observed in the society. He said that NIFSAT has launched a BS degree programme in Human Nutrition and Dietetics.


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