The ‘Right To Protein’ campaign released the ‘Nutrition Awareness Index 2023′, a state-wise index assessing awareness, affordability, and accessibility of nutrition in India as perceived by end-consumers (citizens). The Nutrition Awareness Index aims to serve as an important tool to advance the vision of nutrition security in India – with regards to commitments, practices, management.
Developed by YouGov, the Nutrition Awareness Index 2023 was developed basis a survey conducted with over 2,000 representative of adult urban internet users (18 years of age and above), who can read and understand English (and primarily NCCS A), across 20 states with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2022, providing valuable insights into nutritional awareness and existing gaps. This Index is a dynamic quantitative ranking model constructed from the average of the scores of all 20 states weighted by the relative share of each state as per the population numbers from India Census 2011. This national average represents the base value of 100 as a benchmark score in the Index rankings, allowing us to understand the performance of different states on the Awareness and Accessibility-Affordability parameters.
Punjab emerged as the top state, scoring 11% above the national average, while Bihar ranked at the bottom, scoring 10% below the national average. Based on the total scores, the other top ranked states are, Karnataka (9% higher than the national average), Delhi (7% higher), Uttarakhand (6% higher) and Assam (5% higher), while the bottom ranked ones are Andhra Pradesh (10% lower than the national average), Rajasthan (8% lower), Tamil Nadu (6% lower) and Gujarat (6% lower).
The Index also found that majority Indians are unaware of vegetarian protein sources. Over 53% of young Indians (aged 18-35) find nutrition access challenging and while over 50% of them feel they eat balanced but failed to identify nutritional food sources correctly.
The Index decodes urban India’s understanding of different kinds of food groups essential to a healthy diet as explained by the National Health Portal. It aims to be a device for policymakers, investors, international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), food and beverage industry, agriculture sector, nutritionists, healthcare practitioners, thought leaders and others to tackle growing nutrition challenges and meet our nutritional commitments. This Index strives to improve human well-being and enhance nutrition security in India, aiding in advancing commitments, practices, and management related to nutrition and provide essential insights into the production and distribution of healthy, affordable, and accessible products that influence consumer choices and behaviours.
“This Index highlights the perceptions and understanding of nutrition across various states, allowing us to identify crucial areas that require immediate attention and investment. Together, we can work towards building a healthier and more nourished India. Tailoring educational campaigns to state-specific nuances is crucial. For example, while only one-third of people in Assam identify pulses and legumes as body-building foods, over half of those in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand do so. Understanding these regional variations allows us to design more targeted approaches to increase awareness and consumption,” added Deepa Bhatia, General Manager, YouGov India.
Nutritional challenges have never been more evident, as the COVID-19 pandemic widened inequities, and impacted malnutrition in all its forms. Despite the progress made over the years, there is an opportunity to improve and place stronger commitments to improving food systems and enabling nutrition security.
“The Nutrition Awareness Index 2023 will be instrumental in shaping evidence-based policies and interventions to strengthen nutrition security in India. It serves as a compass guiding us toward a future where no one suffers from hunger or undernutrition, fostering a society where everyone has equal access to nutritious food. Through shared knowledge and collective action, we aim to empower communities and promote sustainable agricultural practices, ensuring a brighter, healthier future for generations to come. It is a collaborative effort, and we encourage all stakeholders to join hands with ‘Right To Protein’ in this endeavour,” said Jaison John, Country Team Lead – India U.S. Soybean Export Council, Supporter of the ‘Right To Protein’ campaign.
‘Right To Protein’ invites everyone to share the Nutrition Awareness Index 2023 within their networks, and engage in meaningful discussions to drive positive change.
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About Right To Protein
Right To Protein is an awareness campaign to educate people about the importance of adequate protein consumption for better nutrition, health, and well-being. The campaign aspires to build public knowledge of different types of protein sources, to meet larger nutritional security goals. Right To Protein is supported by several like-minded organizations, institutions, academicians, professionals, and individuals. The campaign is exclusively driven by the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC). As a protein awareness campaign, ‘Right To Protein’ emphasizes the role of protein in supporting good health, reducing malnutrition, and promoting sustainable development. Right To Protein campaign also aims to encourage governments, businesses, and other organizations to prioritize protein production, distribution, and consumption in their policies and practices. This can include promoting sustainable agriculture and animal husbandry practices, supporting research and development in the field of protein science, and ensuring that people have access to a variety of affordable and nutritious protein sources. The campaign also raises awareness about the global burden of protein deficiency, a significant public health concern, particularly in developing nations. By promoting the Right to Protein, the goal is to improve nutrition security to improve health outcomes, reduce poverty and hunger, and support sustainable development.
The initiative is open for those who would like to join and/or contribute in any capacity, including providing knowledge, technical support, or promotion partners. If you share our vision, reach out to us via our social channels to know how you can help.
For more information, visit righttoprotein.com/nutrition-index-india-2023.html and follow Right To Protein on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn.