How Food And Beverage Companies In India Play Vital Role In Addressing ‘Double-Burden Malnutrition’
In India we have a ‘New Nutrition Reality’, which means co-existence of under nutrition and new nutrition at the same time, said Dr Rajan Shankar, director of nutrition at Tata Trusts and member of the ATNI board at a launch event of the second iteration of the India Access to Nutrition Spotlight Index event held in New Delhi on Thursday.
India Spotlight Index 2020 stresses on the importance of food and beverages companies in occupying a central role in the Indian government’s Eat Right Movement.
In the backdrop of the prevalence of double burden of malnutrition in India, the report by ATNI, an international non-profit organization that seeks to improve consumers’ access to nutritious foods and beverages across several countries, reveals that several Indian food and beverages companies are providing only a limited choice of healthy foods to the consumers. This is contrary to the need for more healthier and affordable products that would make a difference in the nutrition status of India.
“The India Spotlight Index 2020 shows that among the 16 largest food and beverage manufacturers, that cover nearly a third of the food and beverage market, most take action to fortify products or commit to reformulate products in line with government initiatives to address India’s nutrition challenges,” Shankar said.
Dr Rajan Shankar, director of nutrition at Tata Trusts Addressing The EVENT
There has been considerable improvement in the products being manufactured with ” 10 of the 13 companies, for which staple food fortification is relevant, voluntarily fortify some or all of their products according to the standards set by FSSAI. This is a big improvement since 2016 when ATNI found very few companies producing some fortified foods,” Shankar added.
Inge Kauer, excusive director of ATNI, said lifestyle changes of people has created a shift in the eating habit of the consumers. “From consumption of traditional food to more urban food habits consisting of packaged foods high in sugar and fat and salt" has created a situation that needs to be looked into.
ATNI published the first India Spotlight Index in 2016, a first-of-its kind national assessment, to analyse the nutrition-related policies and practices of India’s top 10 food and beverages
The event of Thursday focused on improving the scope of such companies to boost their performance in manufacturing healthy affordable diets, while addressing integral issues such as malnutrition, obesity and diet-related diseases.