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Fighting malnutrition through fortification of mid day meals

Posted:  Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Indian government launches new initiative against malnutrition! India is still reeling from alarming levels of childhood malnutrition, which contributes to 50% of under five child mortality. The government has planned to provide fortified foods under mid day meal scheme and Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) for school children.

The Prime Minister (PM) of India has convened a committee of secretaries to pilot the programme. The recommendation for the provision of fortified foods to schools and anganwadis was approved by the PM.

As part of the next step, the secretaries intend to meet with the food manufacturers to encourage fortification of foods on a large scale. Consequently, the practice of food fortification will expand to all the Indian states from the existing 10 states. The target is to ensure complete coverage in the next two years.

The sources said that “The recommendation that staple foods like milk, wheat, rice, edible oils and salt will be fortified and provided to schools and anganwadis was cleared by the PM.” Moreover, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) will revise the norms for food products to be fortified with iron, vitamin A and D.

Eighty four countries across the globe are already using fortified products to counter the problem of under-nutrition. In India, the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are already using some of the fortified products.

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