PepsiCo India through its brand Quaker and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have come together to raise awareness around healthy eating and active lifestyle, in line with company’s commitment towards creating awareness about safe food, healthy and sustainable diets. Under the collaboration, CII and PepsiCo India reached out to around 150 colleges and over 250 corporates across the country, the company said in a press statement.
A webinar series was launched during Nutrition Month to build awareness on the “Importance of wholesome and healthy breakfast” and its components like whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables. The awareness drive that adopts FSSAI Eat Right Initiative saw India’s leading dieticians and nutritionists such as Ishi Khosla, Ritika Samaddar, Jagmeet Madan address the audience.
According to a recent survey by PepsiCo India, awareness of healthy breakfast comprising whole grains in foods amongst millennials across metros and nutrition students was extremely low. Only 2% of the surveyed millennials were aware of whole-grain aspects in their breakfast.
As a part of celebrations on World Food Day, a special panel discussion on ‘Nourishing Young India’ was also organized. The discussion saw eminent panelists who busted myths around nourishment and spoke about the importance of incorporating whole grains, protein-rich food, and locally available fresh fruits and vegetables to improve our daily diet’s nutritional quality.
Speaking about the program, Vinita Bali, chairperson, CII National Committee on Nutrition, said, “Nutrition is complex and therefore needs to be simplified so that each of us can make well informed and responsible choices about the food we eat and the lifestyles we adopt. A day like today puts the spotlight on food and hopefully generates enough interest and curiosity among people to be well informed and make the right choices for their own well-being – both in terms of fresh as well as packaged food.”
Additionally, Jagmeet Madan, national president of The Indian Dietetic Association, said, “India is a Young Nation. Making the ‘Right and Simple Nutrition Connect’ with the important stakeholders of this country is the prerequisite to a Healthy Nation. The key messages in Nourishing Young India are – Build a Happy and Healthy relationship with Food; Make it Simple; Focus on Ingredients and Diversity in your plate. The endeavor of each nutritionist today should be to create a Tsunami of scientific, credible information in a palatable form for the young India.”
Talking about PepsiCo India’s commitment under the Eat Right initiative, Ahmed ElSheikh, president, PepsiCo India, said, “Nutrition is intrinsic to human development. It is a crucial driver of a healthier society, a more productive population and a stronger economy. The National Nutrition Mission is an important initiative of The Government of India to create awareness around the right dietary habits. In fact, the current challenging times have only heightened the desire of people to stay healthy. Our collaboration with CII through the Quaker brand is just one such step to drive nutritional awareness especially amongst the youth, given that they are the real agents of change towards a brighter and well-nourished India.”
In addition, PepsiCo India has also trained over 150 college students pursuing B Sc and M Sc courses as Eat Right Fellows. These students will be imparting nutrition education amongst 50,000 school children across the country by the end of February 2021.
The World Food Day celebration is an effort to re-establish the broader concept of ‘nutrition’ and how it can be simplistically weaved into everyday living. The ecosystem needs to raise awareness on the right information on Nutrition and what information needs to go out to the youth for long-term behavioral or lifestyle change, which will contribute to the overall development of India.