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After 11 years, nutrition institute plans to revise dietary guidelines

  • Published
    4th Apr, 2022
Context

India is revising dietary guidelines after 11 years that will recommend what to eat to maintain a healthy diet.

About

About National Institute of Nutrition:

  • The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) is an Indian Public health, Nutrition and Translational research center located in Hyderabad.
  • The institute is one of the oldest research centers in India, and the largest center, under the Indian Council of Medical Research, located in the vicinity of Osmania University.
  • It was founded by Sir Robert McCarrison in the year 1918 as ‘Beri-Beri’ Enquiry Unit in a single room laboratory at the Pasteur Institute, Coonoor, Tamil Nadu.
  • Within a short span of seven years, this unit blossomed into a “Deficiency Disease Enquiry” and later in 1928, emerged as full-fledged “Nutrition Research Laboratories” (NRL) with Dr. McCarrison as its first Director.
  • It was later shifted to Hyderabad in 1958.
  • At the time of its golden jubilee in 1969, it was renamed as National Institute of Nutrition (NIN).

Objectives

  • To identify various dietary and nutrition problems prevalent among different segments of the population in the country.
  • To continuously monitor diet and nutrition situation of the country. 
  • To evolve effective methods of management and prevention of nutritional problems.
  • To conduct operational research connected with planning and implementation of national nutrition programmes.
  • To dovetail nutrition research with other health programmes of the government.
  • Human resource development in the field of nutrition.
  • To disseminate nutrition information.
  • To advise governments and other organisations on issues relating to nutrition

About the guidelines:

  • The guidelines are updated about every 10 years. The current guidelines were published in 2011.
  • These guidelines have different objectives. It is a handbook that explains in the simplest possible way everything that healthy people from different population groups need to know about what to eat and what not to eat, and also how to eat to improve the absorption of nutrients in food to maximize that they eat based on what is required for that demographic.
  • The handbook will talk about both the quality and quantity of up to 11 food groups like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc. that are seen on one’s plate.
  • The revision is needed because the dietary scenario changes as the data changes over time. Now, more people are leading sedentary lifestyles that, for example, require certain types of food and calorie intake that need to be considered when proposing policy changes.
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