Aiming to strengthen food safety across the country, India’s apex food regulator on August 19 announced the launch of the annual nationwide ‘Eat Right Challenge’. The announcement was made by Dr Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare, in an online orientation workshop organised by the food authority. FSSAI, as an incentive for joining the challenge, will be providing the first 150 districts/cities to register with a seed funding of up to Rs 5 lakh. It will also provide a separate fund for the implementation of participant-proposed innovative projects.
The challenge is a part of the FSSAI’s large-scale initiative called Eat Right India (under the aegis of the Ministry of Health) that aims towards improving public health and combating negative nutritional trends in the country. About 197 districts and cities have registered to participate in the challenge and FSSAI will be supporting the first 150 states and cities that have registered. A seed funding of Rs 50 lakh will be used for this purpose while additional funding will support the implementation of innovative models.
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Dr Harsh Vardhan, speaking on the occasion, noted how many reports suggested that people in the same households may have different responses to Covid-19 based on their immunity. Immunity is mostly acquired through nutrition and therefore promoting a healthy diet can tackle multiple diseases.
He said, “61.8 per cent of deaths from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular complications, etc. are related to a person’s faulty diet and several communicable diseases also severely affect those who are malnourished.”
The minister claimed that an initiative like the ‘Eat Right Challenge’ was the need of the hour for a heavily populated country like India.
The workshop also saw the launch of the ‘Eat Right Handbook’, a comprehensive guide for the Food Safety Commissioners & district officials to adopt & scale-up Eat Right India (ERI) initiatives.
FSSAI’s ‘Eat Right India’ movement has come a long way in creating awareness amongst the people about eating safe, healthy, and sustainably.
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