Nutrition boost for adolescent girls

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ICRISAT, NIN launch project to supply millet bar in government hostels


In a move to address nutritional problem among adolescent girls, the International Crops Research Institute for Semi Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), a wing of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), launched a project called ‘Iron for Adolescents’ or ‘FeFA’ on Friday. The term FeFa has been chosen as Fe is the symbol of iron while ‘FA stands for For Adolescents’.

An MoU to this effect was signed by Dr. Peter Carberry, director general of ICRISAT, and Dr. R. Hemalatha, director of NIN. Along with officials, they released a flyer of millet bar that would be supplied to the girls.

Under the project, adolescent girls suffering from mild to moderate anaemia will receive high-dietary fibre containing natural nutritional supplements in the form of a peanut-pearl millet bar every day for three months in government residential hostels. Two hostels — one at Shameerpet and one at Ghatkesar — have been selected for this purpose. A daily consumption of 100 grams will be given to the students in two doses in a hostel.

Simultaneously, another project to understand the effect of national iron-folic acid supplementation programme on gut modulation and iron status among adolescents will assess the effect of daily iron folic acid supplementation for a period of three months on the gut microbiota consumption and function of adolescent girls.

“Our approach is to use practical food-based solutions using crops rich in iron and dietary fibres that have been shown to improve the gut microbiome consumption. We aim to achieve overall improvement of iron biomarkers naturally in adolescent girls with mild to moderate iron deficiency,” said Dr. Carberry.

“This collaboration between ICRISAT and ICMR-NIN will bring together expertise and experience that complements each other. Since the iron folic acid-based supplementing nutrition is not yielding much result, we expect food-based solution would address the issue in a better way. By addressing iron deficiency among adolescents, we can address problems of the next generation,” said Dr. Hemalatha.

Krian Sharma, deputy director general of ICRISAT and Rajeev Varshney, resident programme director of Genetic Gains were among those present.

Original post on THE HINDU


Posted on

March 27, 2019

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