Research on nutritional requirements should be conducted keeping national and social context in mind instead of depending on measures set by international organisations, stated medical experts at a discussion yesterday.
Reference values to specify the type and amount of nutrition needed can be determined by identifying the lifestyles of Bangladeshis in rural and urban areas, their eating habits and their accessibility to healthy and nutritious food, they added.
Campaign for Rights to Food and Social Security organised the discussion, “Nutrition Safety to Ensure Right to Food: Facts and Actions”, in the capital's Jatiya Press Club.
“Our eating habits, ways of living, physical appearance -- all are different from people living abroad. Thus, it would be foolish to continue trusting findings of international researchers on suitable nutrition intake,” stated Prof Dr MA Sayeed of Ibrahim Medical College.
The experts also criticised food product ads on TV for presenting false claims to earn more profits.
“Parents need to be made aware of the falsehood publicised by food companies to make huge profits,” stated noted health activist and People's Health Centre Bangladesh founder Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury.
The experts also stressed the necessity for pregnant mothers to consume nutritious food to ensure the birth of healthy children.
“Family members of an expectant mother can play a huge part by ensuring that she is provided with adequate nutritious food at correct times,” said Dr Nahid Yasmin of women and gynecology department of Suhrawardy Hospital.
Presenting the keynote, Ali Abbash Mohammad Khorshed of Dhaka University's Institute of Nutrition and Food Science stated that the demand for ensuring nutritious food could turn to a social movement with suitable awareness campaigns.