Govt to soon come out with a ‘good food’ guide | India News – Times of India

HYDERABAD: Want to follow a healthy and balanced diet? Soon, you may not have to go to a dietician or nutritionist. The government’s top nutrition research institute will guide you using on scientific evidence. Hyderabad-based National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) has framed new dietary guidelines that will enable common people to decipher the nutritional values of food including packaged food, cereals, milk products, fruits and vegetables.
“The idea is to have dietary guidelines in simple language that common people — not just dieticians and nutritionists — can understand and implement in their food habits. Our scientists have prepared a set of around 16 guidelines that covers age-specific food recommendations for the elderly, women, pregnant and lactating mothers, and adolescents, among others. It will also guide people on understanding package labels,” NIN director R Hemalatha says.
While researchers at the institute have finalised the first draft which will be submitted to its director this week, it is likely to be put out for stakeholder consultations within the next few months.
Once finalised, the guidelines are likely to be released by PM Narendra Modi by end of 2022 to commemorate Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, an official source told TOI.
“This will be a game changer. For the first time, we are going to tell people in a simple way what are the food guidelines for healthy living. The draft guidelines have been framed keeping in mind dietary diversity as well as dietary goals of the Indian population,” said Uday Kumar, senior scientist and convenor of the NIN group formulating the guidelines.
The nutrition institute, under the Indian Council of Medical Research, has tested over 560 samples of food that are generally consumed in different parts of the country against around 140 nutritional parameters, to develop a database of the nutrient value of different kinds of food items. The food composition data base along with estimated average nutritional requirements of individuals of different age and physiology forms the basis of the new dietary guidelines, researchers said.
NIN, along with ICMR, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India and the health ministry will also separately frame a dissemination strategy to promote the new guidelines in a big way through social media and other platforms.
“Implemented properly, we believe these guidelines have the potential to bring significant reduction in disease burden, mainly non-communicable diseases that are highly prevalent now because of sedentary lifestyles and poor eating habits,” Kumar said.
The proposed new guidelines will contain specific instructions on how to read and understand pack labelling, age-based diet suggestions and complementary food recipes for infants after six months, among other tips.

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