October 16 marks World Food Day to create awareness globally on those who suffer from hunger and ensure food security and nutritious diets for all. World Food Day highlights the fact that food is a basic and fundamental human right.
The world celebrates Food Day on October 16 every year to bring to focus that food is a basic human right. The celebrations are aimed at creating a global awareness about those who cannot afford meals and suffer severe malnutrition.
The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Our actions are our Future. Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world’. The focus this year is to tackle global hunger as eating habits have changed due to globalisation.
It has been observed that instead of seasonal, fibre rich food and plant based food, people have shifted to refined, starches, sugar, fats, salt, processed food, meat, etc. In urban areas time spent on preparing food or meals is very less because people rely on readymade food, supermarkets, fast food, street food, etc.
Obesity in people is increasing in developed and low income countries due to unhealthy diets and sedentary lifestyles.
According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), 670 million adults and 120 million girls and boys of the age group 5 to 18 years are obese and 40 million children under 5 are overweight. On the other hand, around 820 million people suffer from hunger.
The member countries of the Food and Agriculture Organisation established World Food Day in November 1979 at the organisation’s 20th General Conference. They called for the observance of World Food Day on 16 October, 1981.
This decision was ratified by the UN General Assembly on 5 December, 1980 and urged governments and international, national and local organisations to contribute to the celebrations of World Food Day. Since 1981, World Food Day has been held every year.
How is it celebrated?
Various events are organised on this day. At FAO, headquarters in Rome, Italy programs on large scale is organised. It mainly focuses on the attention towards food supply. Some UN Organisations and universities organise symposia, conferences, workshops, and presentations on topics like food production, distribution and security.
India is a country with diverse cultures and traditions. Festivals are celebrated across the country in different styles and manners from one state to another. On this day, some families preserve food and distribute it to needy and poor. In some private companies and Government organisations there is a scheme in which salary is deducted from those employees who voluntarily want to donate for the food bank and the collected money may be utilised at the time of natural calamities, disasters, etc.
About Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)
It is a specialised agency of the United Nations that works towards defeating hunger via international efforts. FAO aims to achieve food security for all and to make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active and healthy lives. It has 194 member states and it works in over 130 countries in the whole world.
What is the importance of a healthy diet?
A healthy diet meets the nutritional needs of people by providing sufficient, safe, nutritious and diverse foods to lead a good life and reduce the risk of disease. We can't ignore the fact that nutritious diets at times are costly and are not affordable to many people.
The combination of good nutrition and healthy weight reduces the risk of chronic diseases. If you eat healthy, nutrients will reach to your body and you will remain healthy, active and strong. Physical activity with a healthy diet also plays an important role.
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Last Updated Oct 16, 2019, 8:53 AM IST