After Yoga & Fitness challenge it’s time to eat right, says Indian government

The fitness challenge in India went viral with #HumFitTohIndiaFit slogans. Celebrities like Virat Kohli and Saina Nehwal along with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, all encouraged Indians to take part in the challenge. Actors Sonam Kapoor and Jacqueline Fernandez were also seen supporting the International Yoga Day. Just a couple weeks later, the Government is now encouraging people to eat healthy.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) announced on 9th July that it will provide a training tool kit to health workers in order to promote safe and healthy eating habits. The awareness will be raised on grass root at 1.5 wellness centres under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. FSSAI is to launch a national campaign called — The Eat Right Movement. The movement will focus on making voluntary commitments on reducing salt and sugar levels in food and eliminate trans-fat.  FSSAI CEO Pawan Kumar said that the movement will also integrate existing initiatives ‘Safe and Nutritious Food’ (SNF) at schools, home and workplace as well as food fortification. Pawan also added that the tool kit will be a supplementary engagement resource mainstreamed in the public health programmes and national nutrition.

Madhavi Das, Chief Management Service Officer at FSSAI said that the tool kit sends out the simple message – eat healthy and avoid food with high compositions of fat, sugar and salt. It includes components making people aware of maintaining hygiene and sanitation along with awareness on food adulteration. Madhavi also told reports that they will be bringing TV commercials and posters promoting safe and healthy eating habits. She said that “Healthy diet is one of the key responses to the rising incidence of non-communicable diseases.” Under the schemes Ayushman Bharat, Anganwadi and ASHA, the initiative will train workers and aim on preventing diseases like diabetes, obesity and heart ailments, while avoiding food borne diseases.

The tool kit is an interesting way to make people aware of good eating habits and will be helpful in easily engaging them in the initiative. The government is currently aiming to open more than 1.5 lakh health centres by the year 2022, under the Ayushman Bharat Scheme. These centres are said to be well quipped in order to provide treatment for diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Hopefully, many people including celebrities will help influence the initiative and promote it with the same enthusiasm as they did with the Fitness Challenge. Let’s together make our country fit and healthy!

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