More than 70 percent of five-year-old children in India suffer from vitamin-D deficiency: NDDB

Additional Chief Secretary Anita Bhatnagar speaking on the occasion of World Food Day

Lucknow, October 16: According to the National Family Survey, children under the age of 5 in India are 38.4 percent dwarf, 35.7 percent underweight and 31 percent overweight. According to the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), in India, more than 70 percent of children aged 05 years are suffering from vitamin-D deficiency and 57 percent of children are suffering from vitamin-A deficiency. Additional Chief Secretary, Food Safety and Drug Administration, Anita Bhatnagar said this on Wednesday. She was addressing a workshop of milk producers regarding the fortification of Vitamin A and D in milk on the occasion of World Food Day.

She said that according to the National Family Health Survey, 58.4 percent children who are between 06 months to 05 years of age suffer from anemia. 53.3 percent of women, 27.7 percent of men also suffer from anemia. We are made as we eat. We have to be healthy to fulfill any dream. We need the right amount of vitamins to stay healthy.

Through the process of fortification, vitamin-A and vitamin-D micro- nutrient can be added to some categories of milk through premix. Due to deficiency of Vitamin-A and Vitamin-D, chances of many diseases increase. Such as ophthalmic, heart disease, cancer etc. and bones, teeth and muscles can also be weak.

According to the guidelines of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) of Government of India, the work of fortification of edible oils is being done in the state and in the short term only 6.12 lakh metric tons of fortified edible oil is being produced in the state. Fortified foods can be distinguished from those in blue plus F + F. A strategy has been decided to provide technical training in various dairy of the state by 10 November in consultation with the milk producers participating in the workshop.

Technical information was given by the representatives of KHPT in the workshop. It was informed that mainly in India, fortification of edible oil, vitamin-A and D in milk and iron in rice, wheat flour, folic acid and vitamin B-12 and iodine and iron folic acid in edible salt are done. The packing of these fortified foods should be marked with the logo of plus F + F and ‘Fortified with Vitamin A and D’ and ‘Complete nutrition healthy life’.

Micronutrients premix was also explained in detail and it was also told that only toned, double toned milk etc. are fortified. Full cream milk and cow’s milk do not require fortification. Krishna Rao, Representative Heritage Food Limited, Andhra Pradesh shared the experience of fortification being carried out in its unit.

Apart from Additional Chief Secretary, Ministhy S., Commissioner, Food Safety and Drug Administration Department, Senior Officer of Headquarters and Assistant Commissioner Food of all the divisions were present and Chief Milk Producers of the State Amul Dairy, Pollen Dairy, Gyan, Namaste India, Shyam Dairy-Allahabad, Jeevan Anand-Hardoi, Milan Dairy-Agra, Purvanchal Agro-Ghazipur etc. were also present.

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