Budget 2020: Driving the Agenda for a Nutrition-rich India

Significance of consuming protein in our daily life

Nutrition-rich India
Expert Opinion
February 11, 2020

Budget 2020: Driving the Agenda for a Nutrition-rich India

While much has been spoken, discussed and debated on the first Budget of the new decade, one key move announced by Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman has been welcomed by all. With malnutrition being a major public health threat and responsible for 68% of child deaths in the country in the past year, the Rs 35,600 crore allocation to nutrition-related schemes has been appreciated by experts and masses alike.

One of the three core themes of the Union Budget this year is to strive to create a caring society, especially for women and children. And to adhere to these commitments, the government has allocated Rs 69,000 crore for the healthcare sector, of which; Rs 6,400 crore is reserved for the national-level health protection scheme – Ayushman Bharat. Implying a holistic approach towards healthcare, this allocation received a positive nod from industry experts as it is expected to increase awareness, access to facilities and make ‘better health’ a priority for all.

What does this mean?

In her budget speech, the Finance Minister recognised that the health of a mother and her child are co-related, and nutrition plays a significant role towards overall health and development of human beings This emphasis also found resonance in the funds because if these budgets are implemented well, it will certainly help the undernourished and the malnourished population in considerable manner, and at the same time, pave way for the agricultural, animal farming, and poultry production.

How will this change the situation?

As nutrition emerged to be  one of the top agendas in the budget, Poshan Abhiyan – the government’s mission launched in 2017-18 to improve the nutritional status of children (0-6 years), adolescent girls, pregnant women and lactating mothers – also saw an “unprecedented development”. The Union Minister informed that more than six lakh anganwadi workers are equipped with smartphones to upload the nutritional status of more than 10 crore households. She also announced the appointment of a task force to offer recommendations for lowering MMR (maternal mortality ratio) and improving nutritional levels.

This focus on nutrition comes at a time when India is ranked 102 out of the 117 countries where the prevalence of Malnutrition is significantly high as per the 2019, the Global Hunger Index (GHI).

 

Global Hunger Index (GHI)

 

 

 

 

 

In 2018, India accounted for about 46.6 million or one-third of the world’s stunted children basis the Global Nutrition Report. In a situation such as the above, channeling funds to improve the country’s nutritional needs is seen as a welcome move. The announcements and required cohesion seem promising as India moves towards attaining the larger goal of becoming a nutrition-rich country. And as rightly said by, India’s ‘Nutrition Man’, Basanta Kumar Kar, who was awarded the Nutrition Leadership Award 2019 – “I think this budget provides the scope and opportunities for nutrition-sensitive interventions in a substantial way. If implemented well, it can address hunger issues in India”. More importantly, this will help drive awareness on nutritional diet and concerns such as Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) which affects the child at the most crucial period of development, which can lead to permanent impairment in later life.

Awareness is still the demand of the moment

While government attention and funds are the beginning of change, self-awareness about these sources and the requirements is crucial. Protein, whether it’s consumed through grains, pulses, or even seeds, is one of the most essential macronutrient, that should be consumed in every meal, on a daily basis, to ensure our overall development and better nutrition. This awareness is also essential towards busting the popular myth; that including protein in daily diet is unaffordable.

As India moves into a new decade of growth and the Budget incorporates significant measures to improve healthcare and nutrition, it’s essential to make the right choices to gain the desired results. And that begins by learning all about these choices, starting with protein.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

Protein-O-Meter

The amount of protein you need depends on your weight, goals, and lifestyle. Protein-O-Meter will take your body-composition and activity level into account to estimate your protein needs. Start with the number given by the calculator, see how that makes you feel, and try adjusting your protein level up or down to see what amount makes you feel good and perform well!

Protein Index

Find out all about whole foods that are protein heroes! Achieve your fitness goals by finding out just how much protein you should incorporate to stay nourished.

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