The Food & Nutrition Board (FNB), set up in 1964, is an attached office of the Ministry of Women & Child Development and has a countrywide set up. Originally with Ministry of Food, the FNB was shifted to Ministry of Women and Child Development (then Department of WCD) in 1993.
Nutrition is the focal point of health and well-being. Nutrition is directly linked to human resource development, productivity and ultimately to the national growth.
Malnutrition is a complex phenomenon. It is both the cause and effect of poverty and ill health, and follows a cyclical, inter-generational pattern. It is inextricably linked with illiteracy, especially female illiteracy, lack of safe drinking water and proper sanitation, ignorance, lack of awareness and ill health. It creates its own cycle within the large cycle of poverty.
Malnutrition in India continues to be at a high level with 42.5% children below the age being underweight and almost 70% being anaemic. 22% children are born with low birth weight.. Lack of adequate information on nutritional needs, has been identified as a major factor for the prevailing nutritional situation in the country. Child malnutrition is both the result of economic conditions and poor nutritional awareness. Nutrition education and extension has been recognized as one of the long-term sustainable interventions essential to tackle the problem of malnutrition and to generate awareness and to promote the nutrition status of the country. FNB’s major task is to address this major challenge.
Food and Nutrition Board comprises a technical wing at the Centre, 4 Regional Offices and Quality Control Laboratories at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai and 43 Community Food & Nutrition Extension Units (CFNEUs) located in 29 States / UTs (Annexure-I). However, there is no CFNEU in the States Uttarakhand, Tripura, Nagaland, Trivendram and UTs of Lakshadweep and Daman and Diu.
Activities of Food & Nutrition Board include:
- Nutrition Education and Training, both for the masses and for ICDS functionaries,
- Mass Nutrition Awareness Campaigns,
- Development, production and distribution of nutrition education/training material,
- Training in Home Scale Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables and Nutrition,
- Development and Promotion of locally available Nutritious Foods,
- Food Analysis and Standardization,
- Follow up action on National Nutrition Policy.
Nutrition Education and Training
Advocacy and sensitization of policy makers, nutrition orientation of programme managers and capacity building of field functionaries is one of the important activities of the Food & Nutrition Board. Different activities are carried out for different target groups for disseminating nutrition related information.
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