Governmental policies for food and nutritional security

According to the 1996 World Food Summit, food security exists “when every person has physical and economic access at all times to healthy and nutritious food in sufficient quantity to cover the needs of their daily ration and food preferences, in order to live a healthy and active life.”   The nutritional dimension is an integral part of the food security. Nutritionists argue that the energy intake is a poor measure of nutritional status, which depends not onlyfood_nutrition_security on the nutrient intake but also on non-nutrient food attributes, privately and publicly provided inputs and health status.

Nutrition Security implies physical, economic and social access to balanced diet, clean drinking water, safe environment, and health care (preventive and curative) for every individual. Education and awareness are needed to utilise these services.

India has malnutrition levels almost the levels double those of many countries in Africa. This problem needs a multi-disciplinary approach covering diet diversification including micro-nutrients, women’s empowerment, education, health, safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene.

India has government programmes such as TPDS including AAY, nutrition programmes like mid-day meals, and ICDS to improve food and nutrition security.

They are explained in the following post

The state-level mismatch between food intake and nutritional status could be attributed to the differences in education, health, availability of safe drinking water, environmental sanitation and personal hygiene which intervene between the food intake and nutritional status.The Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), which among other things focuses on increasing the nutritional and health status of children has been in operation for over three decades.

There is a inter state-level variation between food intake and nutritional status , which could be attributed to the differences in education, health, availability of safe drinking water, environmental sanitation and personal hygiene which intervene between the food intake and nutritional status. A better environment would reduce food wastage due to infections and diseases. The better nutritional status at a comparatively lower level of food consumption in Kerala and Tamil Nadu could be due to the better health care and nutritional interventions

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