The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations celebrates World Food Day each year on October 16. The 2017 World Food Day theme is “Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development.” This theme is relevant to Pakistan, with our large rural population and the high level of urban poverty. Food insecurity, which can be defined as being unable to consistently access or afford adequate food, is a common occurrence in Pakistan with around half of households experiencing food insecurity. This is shameful as access to good, clean, healthy food should be seen as a basic human right.
Periodic hunger seriously damages the growth of children in particular with food deprivation at a young age leading to reduced brain and organ development, and long-term health complications. Thus, the costs to our society extend far beyond today, and lead to all manner of health, psychological and development-limiting challenges that extend over the entire lifetime of the children who suffer food insecurity today.
Dr. Rezzan Khan, Head of Clinical Nutrition Department SIH said that “In my role as a Dietitian Nutritionist, I recognize the importance of alleviating food insecurity. As dietary habits change, policy makers and health professionals need to help educate the people about healthy eating and its environmental impact. In order to maintain adequate energy intake, people who must limit food costs will select lower quality diets consisting of high-energy, inexpensive foods containing excessive refined grains, added sugars, and fats.