Unicef: States compromising on blended take-home food – Times of India

NEW DELHI: States providing poor quality of blended take home rations, high on sugar and containing meagre proteins, is adding to India’s malnutrition problem, according to the
Unicef and
World Food Programme who have now urged the Centre to form guidelines to monitor contents of such food.

While states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and a few others opting for home cooked meals have shown better results in terms of dietary mix, states providing
blended food often add sugar to meet the calorific value prescribed by the Centre.

The blended food usually constitutes of wheat, sugar and soya along with a few other nutrients. However, states often add 25-33% of sugar and low-quality protein to match the Centre’s requirements while saving on financial resources, officials said.

“An alarmingly high number of children are suffering the consequences of poor diets and a food system that is failing them”, the two
UN agencies said in a new report on children, food and nutrition released on Wednesday. Improving children’s nutrition requires food systems to deliver nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable diets for all children, the report, titled ‘State of the World’s Children 2019’, said.

“Quality of take home ration needs to be improved. In the absence of any central guidelines, states often compromise on quality of such food impacting the outcomes of malnutrition,” Dr Shariqua Yunus Khan, head – Nutrition at UN’s World Food Programme says.

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