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Ensure intake of healthy diet

Published : Saturday, 14 May, 2022 at 12:00 AM  Count : 445
Alaul Alam

Alaul Alam

Alaul Alam

Healthy diet refers to the foods that contain the essential nutrition to maintain or improve health. It is considered the balanced food containing fruits, vegetables and whole grains in such a proportion needed to maintain good health. To keep one's health well and to have a sound life it is the pre-condition to consume a healthy diet.

The persons who take a healthy diet never suffer from malnutrition, rather remain protected against many health hazards.

It is found that the conception of a healthy diet is not clear among many people in our country. They think that healthy diet is always expensive but it does not mean at all that consuming a healthy diet costs more than that ofa usual diet.

However, many claim that lack of knowledge about healthy diet is one of the major challenges in case of ensuring healthy diet for all in the country.

Obviously, attaining food security is the first priority for the population of a country. The question of the intake of healthy diet remains in the darkness until the state is able to ensure food security for all.

In Bangladesh context, in these days ensuring a healthy diet is not as challenging as it was in the previous days. Over the years the country has made a remarkable progress in ensuring food security.

The crops growing abundantly in the country in most cases are able to address the demands of the population locally. The use of high-tech technology helps the agriculture to grow sufficient food grains in the field. It is no denial that food production in our country has increased manifolds but the question is; are the people of all walks of life getting their food security?

Actually, food security does not merely correspond the availability of foods in the country or in the market, rather in most cases it depends on how far the people have earned their purchasing capability.

Food security hardly benefits the marginalized people as income inequality amid different professionals is more obvious.  People with small income struggle to ensure foods for their families and hardly think of the intake of healthyfood.

Apart from the people with small income, many people with affluence in many cases fail to ensure heathy diet for themselves and their families. Certainly, they have the ability to purchase rich and quality foods from the market. But how far these foods are considered balanced foods? They may be rich in vitamins but they lack the essential nutrition required to be considered as balanced food.

Many people are hardly aware of eating a healthy diet, rather become dependent on taking processed foods which contain little or no nutritional essence.

In these days changing in food habit is not only found among the rich people, rather middle, even the lower middle class people are found to change their food habits to some extent. In the last 15 years, fast foods and different take-away foods have been so popular among the people of different walks and ages.

Increased production of processed foods, rapid urbanization and changing lifestyles are some of the causes for the shift in dietary patterns. It is found that people are more prone to consuming foods containing high energy, fats, free sugars and salt.

City people have developed a strong fascination to taking fast food items. On different occasions they love to eat different fast foods which may be tastier than the home-made traditional foods but lack nutritional values and aredetrimentalto our health. The young generation in our country is more obsessed to eating fast foods.

Studies show that they take fast foods on regular basis and prefer fast food items more than those of the traditional ones. We see that children in the urban areas consume huge amount of fast foods and sugary drinks, and low consumption of fruits, vegetables and animal source food.

A survey estimates that more than fifty percent students avoid normal breakfast in the morning and take fast foods from outside.

Fast foods lack beneficial nutrients. The substances used to produce fast foods in many cases pose health risk.  Salt, saturated or trans fats, and many processed preservatives and ingredients are the key substances of fast foods which are hardly good for health.

Unhealthy food eating leads people to undesirable health outcomes. Experts opine that unhealthy diet may be devastating for human health. It may cause diabetes, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and other metabolic disturbances, as well as overweight and obesity.

Different sources estimate that in our country many people are dying of heart attack and cancer due to their unplanned and unhealthy eating habits.

It is estimated that 11 million people in the world die every year due to unhealthy eating. According to the study by the Institute of Health Matrix and Evaluation eating bad quality food is causing more mortality rate than smoking.  So, it is very imperative to consider the fatality of taking unhealthy eating.

Again it is not enough to make people conscious of healthy foods, rather it is urgent to make people realize that healthydiet does not cost more,even the cheap food items can be the example of healthy diet. On top of that, advertisements on fast foods should be banned andpeople shouldbe encouraged to take healthy foods.

According to the nutrition specialists, to ensure life-long healthy food habits the role of the family is very important. The teachings of children from their families canwork significantly to build up healthy eating culture among them from their very beginning of their life.

Obviously, eating habit at the early age influences their whole life to be stick to taking a heathy diet. Certainly, the people of all ages experience many health risksfor not taking heathy diet. Apart from health risk, unhealthy eating poses adverse impacts on the cognitive skills of the people.

The health consultants are found to frequently suggest their patients to avoid junk foods. The question is how far their advice works to bring benefits for people unless they see the availability of heathy alternative food items around them?

However, certainly a healthy diet brings healthy life and healthy life is a great resource not only for the individuals but also for the state. So, prioritize the intake of healthy diet.

Alaul Alam teaches at Prime University and is a research scholar at the IBS

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