World Food Day 2019: Theme, History and Objectives, How it is Celebrated
World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. Let us read more about World Food Day, 2019 theme and its importance.
World Food Day According to United Nations
Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of
the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations in 1945. 820 million people suffer from hunger, 670 million adults and
120 million girls and boys (5-19 years) are obese, and over 40 million children
under 5 are overweight. The health costs of obesity are high, as harmful diets
are linked to one-fifth of all deaths worldwide. On this World Food Day, 16
October, under the theme “Healthy diets for a #ZeroHunger world,” FAO
wants us to know that the goal of Zero Hunger is not only about beating hunger,
but about achieving a healthy, sustainable and affordable diet for all. Follow
our recipe for a healthy life and help us reach this goal!”
Collective action across 150 countries is what makes World
Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar. Hundreds of events
and outreach activities bring together governments, businesses, NGOs, the
media, and general public. They promote worldwide awareness and action for
those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure healthy diets for all.
What is a healthy diet?
According to a FAO document, “A healthy diet is one that
meets the nutritional needs of individuals by providing sufficient, safe,
nutritious and diverse foods to lead an active life and reduce the risk of
disease. It includes, among others, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds
and whole grains, and foods that are low in fats (especially saturated fats),
sugar and salt.”
Nutritious foods that constitute a healthy diet are not
available or affordable for many people.
According to a FAO document, Eat plenty of fresh, ripe and
seasonal vegetables and fruits daily and add more legumes, nuts and whole
grains to your diet. Legumes and nuts are great sources of plant-based protein.
What’s more, legumes can be cheaper than animal proteins. They’re also kinder
on our planet. Cut back on industrially processed foods and drinks high in
saturated fats, sugar, and/or salt, and try not to eat excessive amounts of
meat and other animal-sourced products. Whenever you can, try to switch “white”
refined foods for their brown and much more nutritious equivalents (brown rice,
wholemeal flour and bread etc.). While unsaturated fats (found in fish, nuts,
and in sunflower, soybean, canola and olive oils) are part of a healthy diet,
you need to watch your intake of industrially-produced trans-fats found in
fried foods, among others. Saturated fats should also be limited (found in
fatty meat, butter etc.).
Consider the environmental impact of the foods we eat, for
example, some foods require more natural resources such as water to produce
them. Try also to avoid buying foods that has excessive amounts of packaging.
Many of us don’t prepare meals at home due to busy
lifestyles and we rely increasingly on street food vendors, supermarkets, fast
food outlets, or take-away food. Eating in company is important for your health
and that of your children. Researchers have linked this with lower rates of
obesity and eating disorders in youth.
Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations (FAO)
launched Food-based dietary guidelines for India in 1998. A revised version was
published in 2011.
Dietary guidelines for Indians by FAO recommends –
Eat a variety of foods to ensure a balanced diet.
Ensure provision of extra food and health care to pregnant
and lactating women.
Promote exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months and encourage
breastfeeding until 2 years or as long as possible.
Feed home-based semi-solid foods to the infant after 6
Ensure adequate and appropriate diets for children and
adolescents, both in health and sickness.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits.
Ensure moderate use of edible oils and animal foods and use
a minimum of ghee/butter/vanaspati.
Avoid overeating to prevent overweight and obesity.
Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain
ideal body weight.
Restrict salt intake to a minimum.
Ensure the use of safe and clean foods.
Adopt the right pre-cooking processes and appropriate
Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation.
Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and
Include micronutrient-rich foods in the diets of elderly people to enable them to be fit and active.
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