KARACHI – The Nutrition & Lifestyle Conference held at a local hotel here in Karachi to raise the awareness about healthy eating habits and active lifestyle. The conference is sponsored by National Foods Ltd.
The annual Nutrition & Lifestyle Conference was designed to provide a platform to the industry to share their research and expertise with food industry professionals and nutritional consultants. The experts were the field of food science & technology converged on a single platform to share their expertise and knowledge while highlighting the prevailing nutritional and lifestyle issues.
“The nutritional health of Pakistan is one of the most pressing issues facing our country today, we need to create the ideal atmosphere for sharing information and developing solutions to improve the health and lifestyles of people across the country.” Said Abdul Majeed
According to WHO as of 2005, 1.6 billion adults (over 15 years old) are overweight, 400 million are obese and the projections for 2015 are that 2.3 billion will be overweight and 700 million obese. Most of the causes for this are sedentary lifestyle with no active Transportation by youth as they mostly go in their own cars. Beverages with high sugar content are a major factor.
If we look at the National Health Survey (NHS 2011) results, there is no improvement seen in nutrition indicators of Pakistani population. Stunting among children has increased from 41%(NNS 2001) to 43.7% in ten years, while percentage of wasting and underweight among children remain same, this was stated by Ms Fayza Khan President Pakistan Nutrition & Dietetics Society (PNDS).
The Percentage of death attributed to Non communicable diseases has increased from 34.1% -54.9%.(Non communicable country profile ,WHO 2014), 58% of Pakistani Population is Food Insecure & situation is even worst in Sindh where food insecurity is about 70%.
Weaning diet practices (minimum acceptable diet received to 6-23 months old) is only 7%, added Ms Khan.
The president PNDS further stated that Vitamin A & D deficiency (54% & 40%), Anemia (62%) zinc deficiency (38.2%) among children.50% women are anemic and Vitamin A deficiency (42%) Vit D deficiency (69%). This is an alarming situation which is primarily due to poverty, high illiteracy rates and food insecurity, she concluded.
The speakers at the congress included Dr Iqbal Choudhary, Director ICCBS, Prof Abdullah Umer ( Peter Baillie), Dean Baqai Medical Nutritional University, Dr Rashida Ali, Chairperson, Dept of Food science at Jinnah University for Women, Dr Abdul Basit, Director, Baqai Institute of Diabetology, Prof Abid Hasnain, HoD Dept of Food Science & Technology, University of Karachi , Ms Sarah Ikram Aga Khan University, Dr Tahira Mohsin University of Karachi, Ms Saima Rasheed, Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetics Society, Prof Dr Hafizur Rehman Panjwani from Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research and Mr Abdul Majeed Chairman National Food.