Read the full article in The Hindu
Physical growth (height and weight) of adolescent children will be 50% more if they are given millet-based meals when compared to the growth recorded in children fed with fortified rice, according to a study conducted by International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Hyderabad, and Akshaya Patra Foundation, Bengaluru.
The three-month-long study was conducted in villages located around Bengaluru, whose findings were released by Prof Ramesh Chand, member of NITI Aayog, and Dr Ashok Dalwai, Chair of Empowered Body, Doubling Farmers’ Income, government of India, in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The sample for the study includes 1,500 adolescents from two schools. They were served pearl millet (bajra), ragi (finger millet) or little millet (kutki), in the form of idli, khichdi, upma and bisibele bath. The study is titled ‘Acceptance and impact of millet based mid-day meal on nutritional status of adolescent school-going children in a peri-urban region of Karnataka State in India’.
The study’s authors have called for policies that follow the lessons learnt on how to include millets into meals and to create a level playing field for the pricing and availability of millets.