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Salt with iron to be promoted

In a significant step that is likely to have a substantial impact on malnutrition levels in the country, the PM’s National Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges has decreed that the production and consumption of salt fortified with iron should be promoted by the government. Importantly, it has suggested that ministries dealing with food and nutrition programmes like the mid-day meal scheme and the ICDS should make use of this doubly fortified salt mandatory to begin with. A decision to this effect was taken here on Wednesday when the council met under the chairmanship of T.K.A. Nair, principal secretary to PM Manmohan Singh. The council has also suggested other measures to encourage the consumption of salt fortified with iron before its use is ultimately made mandatory by the government. The emphasis on promoting salt fortified with iron is not without reason given that 46 per cent of Indian women in the five to 54 age-group and 70 per cent of the country’s population suffer from anaemia owing to iron deficiency. Indeed, as the council noted Wednesday, the prevalence of anaemia in a majority of India’s population particularly among adolescent girls, women and children is a major public health challenge and needs to be tackled urgently. One cost-effective way of increasing iron intake is by fortifying salt with iron in addition to iodine. Among the steps the council would like the government to explore to increase the consumption of this salt is to provide it through the public distribution network.

Source :- http://mcaf.ee/49801

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