Highest percentage of malnourished children in India: expert

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Hisar Oct 20 (UNI) India has the dubious distinction of having the highest percentage of malnourished children--higher than even the sub-Saharan Africa which has been referred to as the 'Asian Enigma,' a health expert said here quoting a report.

Inaugurating a two-day national seminar on 'Food Safety and Quality' at Guru Jambheshwar University of Science and Techn ology, Dr Kuldip Dhindsa, Director General of JCD Vidyapeeth, Sirsa said according to Ramalingaswamy, Jonson and Rhode, countrywide diet surveys conducted by National Nutrition Monitoring Bureau showed that the cereal-pulse combination Indian diets were fairly balanced in terms of proteins.

''But the Indian diet were qualitatively very deficient in micronutrients--vitamins and minerals, particularly iron, calcium, vitamins A, folic acid and riboflavin'', he said.

''As food is one of the most important determinants of health, for its safety and quality, there has to be awareness and access at an affordable cost especially as we live in an age of contamination, of environment, food, water and other materials essential for human existence,'' he stressed.

Prof B.S. Khatkar, Seminar Convener and Chairman, Department of Food Technology informed the audience that the size of food processing industry would increase from Rs.4,60,000 crore to Rs 13,80,000 crore by 2015.

''India, with its huge agraraian coupled with rapid strides in food technology, has potential to become food factory for world,'' he said.

A book titled "Food Safety and Quality" was also released on the occasion.

UNI XC JN MMS1727

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