Speakers at the first ever national conference on “Micro nutrients” held at Nayarana Medical College & Hospital here stressed the need to address the growing problem of ‘hidden hunger' which is affecting even those who have enough food to eat.
The speakers talked about the role and scope of a number of micro nutrients like carbon and iodine, which need to be taken to ensure better health. They solve the problem of hidden hunger, which arises because of lack of nutritious food.
Over 80 scientists, doctors and nutrition experts from the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and other reputed organisations took part in the two-day conference which was aimed at holding talks and making recommendations to the government to address nutrition issues.
Addressing as the chief guest on Saturday, CCMB ex-director Bala Subrahmanyam said that many people were dying due to hunger with 42 per cent of the population going without two square meals everyday. Dr. Bala Subrahmanyam, who is presently research director at the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute (LVPEI), said that a greater thrust should be given to research in micro nutrients by bridging the gaps between different departments in biology and specialised medicine. “In our medical colleges, there is not much interaction between laboratories. But in the west, they have good expertise,” he added.
Speaking as guest of honour, NIN director Sesikeran said that many issues confronted the people with regard to nutrition and the single largest deficiency continued to be iron with two billion people suffering from this deficiency in the world. “It has not yet been effectively tackled. Salt fortified with iron is given these days,” he added.
Dr. Sesikeran said that a vegetarian diet poses a challenge as vegetables contain little iron. There are many simple deficiencies in micro nutrients, which should be solved through less expensive and simple solutions by ensuring enough intake of nutritious food, he added.