Eat Right Movement
22, Jul 2018
To improve public health in India and combat negative nutritional trends to fight lifestyle diseases FSSAI launched ‘EAT RIGHT MOVEMENT’.
- ‘The Eat Right Movement’, built on two broad pillars of ‘Eat Healthy’ and ‘Eat Safe’, aims to engage, excite and enable citizens to improve their health and wellbeing.
- ‘The Eat Right Movement’ is a holistic and collaborative approach, with stakeholders on both the demand and supply-side.
- On the demand side, the Eat Right Movement focuses on empowering citizens to make the right food choices.
- On the supply side, it nudges food businesses to reformulate their products, provide better nutritional information to consumers and make investments in healthy food as responsible food businesses.
- The Safe and Nutritious Food Initiative – Focused on social and behavioural change around food safety and nutrition at home, school, workplace and on-the-go.
- The Eat Healthy Campaign – focused on reduction of high fat, sugar and salt foods in the diet.
- Food Fortification – focused on promoting five staple foods-wheat flour, rice, oil, milk and salt that are added with key vitamins and minerals to improve their nutritional content.
- The edible oil industry, bakeries and ‘halwais’ committed to phase out trans-fats by 2022 as voluntary commitments.
- Major food companies voluntarily committed to reformulate packaged foods to reduce the level of salt, sugar and saturated fat.
- The food services sector promised to provide healthier food options and introduce menu-labelling.
- The Eat Right Movement Website is an interface between food safety and nutrition experts and citizens. It provides credible and authentic nutrition information including health tips by experts, nutritious recipes, and exciting tools to get a peek into one’s nutritional needs, body indices, learning about nutrition labels, and other resources.
- An AI Powered Chatbot for citizens to answer all questions related to food is part of the website.
- The Eat Right Toolkit to reach out to people at the grass roots level includes a training manual for frontline health workers such as Health and Wellness Centre workers, ASHA and Anganwadi workers etc and engagement material for citizens in rural and aspirational areas, with a special focus on children.
- Resource books on safe and nutritious food such as the Pink Book for homes, The Yellow Book for schools, The Orange Book for workplaces, The Purple Books for eating out, vetted by domain experts are also in place.
The Eat Right Movement brings together three ongoing initiatives of FSSAI
- In the last 25 years, a major transition in the disease patterns has taken place in India.
- In 1990, more than 60% of all diseases were either infectious (like TB and diarrhoeal diseases), lack of nutrition (like anaemia). These afflictions now account for just 33% of the disease burden.
- Conversely, the contribution of non-communicable diseases like cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurological diseases, cancers, etc, has increased from 30% to 55%. The maximum increase has happened in diseases that are linked to an unhealthy diet and lifestyle.
- The country has more people with type-2 diabetes than any other nation.
- There is now an emerging body of scientific studies linking junk food with childhood obesity and the diabetes epidemics.
- In order to combat this draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2018 has been released for comments by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in April, 2018. • It mandate compulsory labelling of salt and introduced a special red labelling for high in fat, sugar. But it was opposed by food industries due to low consumer base for sugar and fat free items.
So FSSAI launched The Eat Right Movement as an awareness generation and voluntary commitment of food industries to give heathy food to consumers.