India has the highest number of ‘stunted’ children and nearly a third of all stunted children worldwide according to the WHO’s Global Nutrition Report, 2018.
The said report goes on to add that
- About 46.6 million children in India suffer from stunting due to poor nutrition intake and repeated infections
- India has the highest number — 25.5 million children who are ‘wasted’ due to acute malnutrition. India has half of the global wasting burden – taking into consideration the fact that some 50.5 million children are wasted globally
- More than half of all women of reproductive age (51.4 percent), whether or not they were pregnant, suffer from anemia
- In spite of the increase in the life expectancy of populations across the globe, the healthy life expectancy has not increased in the past decade or so
As per the WHO report on nutrition, more than 40% of the nutrition-related diseases takes place before the age of 70.
All this is really appalling as a balanced and healthy diet can help – maintain overall fitness and wellbeing.
Health Supplements and Nutraceuticals can play a critical role in encouraging a healthy life.
In India, this category of food is regulated under the FSSAI and reflects an understanding of the applicable statutory and regulatory requirements of this sector.
Since these products are generally sold without any medical prescription/advice, often customers do not get proper information about the product they intend to purchase, at the point of sale.
Customers are entitled to get the right information and retailers who offer these products are expected to make it clear that the products under this category are not intended to cure or prevent any disease, but only to maintain good health. Hence, it becomes important to create awareness at the point of sale and distribution by the pharmacists & retailers who are directly or indirectly involved in sale and distribution of such products.
With the objective to create sensitization among stakeholders and further strengthen its initiatives, ReCHaN (Resource Centre on Health Supplement and Nutraceuticals) along with FSSAI conducted the first series of Capacity Building Workshop in this sector for Pharmacists and Retailers on “Awareness for Health Supplements & Nutraceuticals” at FSSAI, New Delhi.
Inaugurating the awareness workshop on Health Supplements & Nutraceuticals for Pharmacists and retailers, Chairperson, FSSAI Rita Teaotia, stated that such kind of training would benefit consumers directly by having first-hand information on such products from respective point of purchase. This would enable them to make informed choices. She also appreciated the work undertaken by ReCHaN on development of first-of-its-kind Training Module for Pharmacists and Retailers in this sector.
Pawan Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer, mentioned that the training program will provide a new dimension to the sector by involving and creating awareness among the key players involved in the sale and distribution of such products. This is a unique initiative by FSSAI – ReCHaN and is a step towards enabling a cohesive and conducive environment for consumers and strengthening the overall ecosystem for Health supplements and Nutraceuticals sector in the country.
The session was attended by the pharmacists, retailers, distributors and other stakeholders who are involved in the sale and distribution of Health Supplements & Nutraceuticals.