Many people still do not know importance of protein for health
The government is putting its best efforts to achieve food security as well as nutritional security for all. National Food and Nutrition security Policy has been formulated, Action Plan has also been adopted for 2030. Still there is a lack of awareness about nutrition and protein among a large section of population. Therefore, a nationwide robust campaign is a must where doctors, opinion leaders and model stars will have a major role to play.
The speakers gave this opinion at a seminar on "Right to Protein", held today (17 June) at the Kumudini Women's Medical College (KWMC), which was jointly organized by the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), KWMC and U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC).
The KWMC Principal, Professor Dr. Md. Abdul Halim said nutritional deficiency is one of the major obstacles to achieve sustainable development goal. The effects of malnutrition are transmitted from one generation to the next. Although Bangladesh has achieved appreciable progress in nutrition index, we need to do a lot more to achieve the national target for 2031 and 2041.
Head of the Department of Medicine, Professor Dr. Mizanur Rahman said- Egg, milk, fish and meat are very important for the body, bone and immunity. The consumption of these protein food is still not up to the mark due to some myths and misconceptions. A large number of people wrongly believe that eating eggs causes heart diseases and high blood pressure. Some even think that eggs should not be given to the elderly people and to the patients operated. These are all wrong thoughts.
Shamsun Nahar Nahid Mohua, chief nutritionist of BIRDEM Hospital, said that due to nutritional deficiency, Bangladesh is losing productivity equivalent to BDT1072 thousand crores every year. One-third of the pre-school children are stunted, more than one-fifth are underweight, and one-tenth are stunted. 43 percent of children aged 6 months to 5 years suffer from anemia. A third of married women are underweight. Mohua stressed for higher emphasis on protein and nutrition in the school curriculum.
President of the Bangladesh Poultry Industries Central Council (BPICC), Shamsul Arefin Khaled said that the life expectancy of people in Bangladesh has increased over the years. Children of the current generation are getting taller, winning awards in various national & international competitions including Math Olympiad. This positive improvement and the trend of increasing consumption of eggs, chicken, fish and milk- has progressed almost at the same pace.
Mr. Khaled said, the average life expectancy of people in Western European country Monaco is the highest. A man in China can work a lot even at the age of 75. People in the Netherlands or China were not as tall as they are now. America and Europe have long held the top spots in the Olympic medal list. The main reason behind this success is that they consume enough protein and a balanced diet.
Khabibur Rahman Kanchan, Bangladesh Team Leader of the US Soybean Export Council, said that about 30 to 35 percent of people in South Asia are suffering from malnutrition. Improving the nutrition index will change South Asia. He said, USSEC is working across the world to ensure protein rights.
The Director of KWMC Pradeep Kumar Roy, Vice-principal Prof. Dr. Niranjan Chandra Basak, Prof. Khandaker Shahnewaj and Dr. Q. M. Enayet Hossain spoke among others in the seminar. Nahian Nazneen and Ramneek Kour, 4th year students moderated the session. Debashish Nag, Secretary of BPICC, Md. Sazzad Hossain, Communication and Media Adviser and Abu Bakar, Program Officer were present. About 250 doctors, medical officers, interns and students participated in the seminar.