Nutritionists Stress Need For Formulation Of National Nutrition Policy
According to Dr. Umar Farooq of NUMS, analysis of the data at hand would reveal that 50% of Pakistan’s population suffers from nutrient deficiencies of some kind.
The importance of creating a national nutrition policy (NNP) was emphasised by nutritionists and dietitians on Sunday in order to increase public awareness of the importance of nutrition and its effects on the health of current and future generations.
They were addressing a seminar put on by the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics (DND) at the National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS), which was held to commemorate “March Nutrition Month,” which is observed annually with the theme “Fuel for the Future” around the world.
In his remarks, Dr. Abdul Momin Rizwan, Head of the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics at NUMS, stated that for a nation like Pakistan, which suffers from a triple burden of malnutrition, including overnutrition, undernutrition, and hidden hunger (micronutrient deficiencies), which are incredibly common in the nation, it is crucial to have a National Nutrition Policy (NNP).
The NNP, which will be carried out at the national and provincial levels with specific objectives, can address these problems. He claimed that while some good work was being done in the public and private sectors, it was not producing the desired results to eradicate malnutrition.
A consensus on NNP among the provinces was required for the formulation of such a policy, according to Shahid Fazal, a nutrition expert and regional advisor at Nutritional International, an international non-governmental organisation, to ensure uniformity in its implementation at the provincial level to achieve the set goals.
Shahid Fazal stated that the cost of malnutrition in Pakistan is $7.6 billion annually, according to a report released by the Pakistan Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Secretariat at the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Reform in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP).
According to Dr. Umar Farooq of NUMS, analysis of the data at hand would reveal that 50% of Pakistan’s population suffers from nutrient deficiencies of some kind. He claimed that the nation’s unchecked urbanisation and shrinking agricultural areas would worsen non-communicable diseases and the problem of food security.
Malnutrition must be addressed at the national level in all of its facets. According to a senior policy advisor at the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), some policy work had begun under the planning commission’s chairmanship, and GAIN was also assisting them in drafting the NNP, which was anticipated to be completed this year.
According to Faiz Rasool, after being created, NNP would be submitted to the Council of Common Interest for approval, gaining acceptance and recognition at the federal level.
In order to ensure the Food Security Policy’s success, he urged its inclusion of youth and consideration of the effects of climate change. As some educational institutions had offered nutrition-related subjects, he claimed that efforts were being made to include nutrition topics at the grassroots level.