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World Food Day: Our actions are our future

  • Published at 05:41 am October 16th, 2019

It is essential to ensure nutrition security along with achieving food autarky

The World Food Day 2019 will be observed on Wednesday with an effort to achieve food security for the people by increasing production of healthy diets.

The annual celebration of World World Food Day is an effort to bring attention to these issues. This year, it aims to push people everywhere to take action, under the theme: “Our Actions Are Our Future.”The celebration is intent on informing citizens, businesses and governments that dietary choices, from the products we consume individually, to planetary choices, including the reduction of our environmental footprints, can enable a movement of change.

Bangladesh President M Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued separate messages on the eve of the day.

The president in his message said different unhealthy foods are being included in our daily diets and this is increasing obesity related health risk among the people including the innocent children.

He said: “It is essential to ensure nutrition security along with achieving food autarky.”

To address the nutrition security, the president said the country needs to make available the supply of safe and nutritious food. He stressed the need for including different seasonal fruits, vegetables and selective animal protein in the food menu for better health.

He urged all, including scientists, extension workers and private sector entrepreneurs to expedite the production of animal protein and cost-effective food production considering various challenges including the risk of the climate change.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message said: “The World Food Day is significant as it is being dedicated to the effort on how to achieve the food security for the huge number of people across the globe.”

Due to our uninterrupted efforts, she said the country has been self-sufficient in food production and “the number of poor and extreme poor has been significantly declining.”

BigstockNow the government is working to ensure “safe and nutritious” food for the people, she added.

The prime minister said the people are careful about the nutritious food, while they are facing various health complexities due to lack of awareness.

Globalization and urbanization have had a staggering impact on human history, especially over the last decade. 

The world’s population living in urban areas was less than 5% in 1800. According to the the United Nations, that number increased to 47% by the year 2000. In ten years time, that number is expected to reach 65%.

As these shifts have taken place, there have been dramatic changes in dietary and eating habits. The world has begun to abandon the traditions of preparing meals at home, which have historically been seasonal, plant-based and fibre-rich.

Preferring convenience, the world has turned to refined starches, sugars, fats, salt, processed foods, meat and animal-source products. In urban areas especially, consumers increasingly rely on supply chains of supermarkets, fast food outlets, street food vendors and take-away restaurants.

Dietary choices and sedentary lifestyles have pushed obesity into epidemic proportions not only in developed countries, but in low-income countries too, where hunger and obesity can co-exist.

Currently, 670 million adults and 160 million children suffer from obesity worldwide.

Astonishingly, over 820 million people suffer from hunger.

And this dichotomy is taking a toll on national health budgets, costing up to $2 trillion per year.

Poor diets are now are a leading cause of illness, linked to one-fifth of all deaths worldwide.

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