The Ministry of Health yesterday marked the beginning of the Nutrition Month for 2012.
Speaking during the launch, Minister for Health Dr Neil Sharma said it was the second year the ministry devoted a full month of advocacy and related activities to nutrition.
"As we mark the beginning of another month for nutrition, our ministry needs to look within at our own program with diligence, monitoring and evaluating its efficacy and appropriateness while we prepare for the increased advocacy and delivery in 2012 and 2013," Dr Sharma said.
He said the Eating Out (Restaurants) Grading Decree was finally gazetted and an accomplishment of health licensing grades would be given to commercial eating outlets.
"The nutrition division of the Ministry of Health and its affiliate National Food and Nutrition Centre resource personnel with our non-communicable team must champion with the commercial food processors healthier food production," Dr Sharma said.
He outlined that self-regulation with targets on salt, sugar and fat reduction by the food industry has been slow in forthcoming over the least 16 months of negotiations.
Dr Sharma said, however, reductions of salt from 2.5 to 15 per cent were possible.
He also highlighted that sugar and fat could be dramatically reduced.
"Ministry of Health trusts that formal regulations will appear in fine print by the end of September, while improved food labelling has been regulated last month and enforced next year," Dr Sharma said.