The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB), set up in 1964, is under the department of Women welfare and Child Development. The FNB has a technical wing at the centre, 4 regional offices at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai. It is engaged in its conventional activities as well as in new initiatives undertaken as a follow up of National Nutrition Policy. Some of the areas of FNB activities are as under.
- Nutrition Education and Orientation: Nutrition Education of the people in rural, urban and tribal areas is one of the primary activities of the FNB. Nutrition demonstrations in rural, urban and tribal areas are organized by each of the 43 Community Food and Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUS) indifferent states, 12,000 programmes benefiting about 5 lakh persons are organized annually.
- Training in Home Scale Preservation of Fruits and Vegetable: The CFNEUS impart education and training in home scale preservation of fruits and vegetables to housewives and adolescent girls with a view to promote preservation and consumption of fruits and vegetable which could be useful for income generation purposes.
- Monitoring of Supplementary Feeding under ICDS: The CFNEUS monitor the supplementary feeding component of ICDS in areas of their location.
- Mass Media Communication: Development of educational and training material on nutrition has been one of the important activities of FNB Headquarters. Some of the important publications include Handbook on Integrated Nutrition Education, Guidelines for Nutrition of pregnant women, posters on child’s Health, Nursing mothers, complementary feeding, instant food mixes, Iodized salt, folders on mother’s milk, green leafy vegetables, fruits and vegetables for vitality, stickers for school children, National plan of Action on Nutrition etc. Efforts are made to promote nutrition facts about infants, pregnant and lactating mothers.
- Advocacy and Sensitization of Policy makers and Programme managers: Advocacy and sensitization of policy makers for integrating nutritional concerns in developmental programmes is a key issue for promoting nutrition of the people in the country. Regional workshops are planned for this.
- Follow Up Action on National Nutrition Policy: A number of initiatives have been taken up since National Nutrition Policy was adopted by Government of India in 1993. A National Plan of Action on Nutrition was formulated and approved by the Inter ministerial coordination Committee and released in 1995. A task force on micronutrient deficiency like Vitamin A and Iron was constituted and details are worked to eradicate them.
The National Nutrition Mission aims at eradicating malnutrition in a time bound fashion. The three important areas for action are vigorous awareness campaign in malnutrition and its prevention, direct interventions for preventing malnutrition, nutrition monitoring, mapping and surveillance to be established in the country for reducing high levels of malnutrition.