With an aim to promote healthy and balanced eating, Dr Harsh Vardhan has launched ‘Poshan Maah’ (nutrition campaign) on 5 September, 2019. Along with that he also launched the new Eat Right India logo that represents a healthy plate, an online Eat Right Quiz, the Eat Right Online Course for frontline health workers and the Eat Right India Store featuring merchandize to nudge right eating habits.
The Eat Right India movement is being helped by FSSAI as a crucial preventive healthcare measure to trigger social and behavioral change through a judicious mix of regulatory measures, combined with soft interventions for ensuring awareness and capacity building of food businesses and citizens alike. This movement is aligned with the Government’s flagship public health programs such as POSHAN Abhiyaan, Anemia Mukt Bharat, Ayushman Bharat Yojana and Swachh Bharat Mission.
FSSAI’s robust regulatory measures
FSSAI has put in place robust regulatory measures under three major pillars: Eat Safe, Eat Healthy and Eat Sustainably. FSSAI has prescribed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% in cooking oil to avoid the harmful effects of reused cooking oil. Standards for five fortified staples -wheat flour, rice, oil, milk and salt to reduce large-scale deficiencies of vitamins and minerals have been notified, in addition to standards for health supplements, nutraceuticals, prebiotics and probiotics products. To trigger informed consumer choices regulations on ‘Advertising and Claims’ and mandatory menu labeling has been notified. Labeling provisions have been made for appropriate use of sweeteners for children and pregnant women. To reach the target of Trans-fat Free India by 2022, regulations to reduce trans-fats to less than 2% in all oils, fats and food products are in place. Promoting sustainability, FSSAI has removed the restriction on the use of returnable bottles and is promoting the use of bamboo instead of plastics.
Food businesses have participated in large-scale training and capacity building programs on ensuring food safety through the Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) initiative, under which over 1.7 lakh Food Safety Supervisors have been trained and certified.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Harsh Vardhan mentioned that Eat Right India takes a holistic approach to food habits that promote health and sustainability. He also urged the media to amplify the key message of this Jan Andolan to citizens and make it popular like Polio Mukt Bharat. Launching this movement on this platform with the support of stakeholders such as the World Health Organization, along with Ministers and delegates from South East Asian countries, is a landmark event.
Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, World Health Organization remarked, “The Eat Right India movement’s message is close to the heart of what the WHO has been saying all along. Now, this has been put into action by FSSAI. Citizens should choose healthy food and the food industry should manufacture healthy food.”