New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) Food safety regulator FSSAI today said it will soon launch a campaign to spread awareness about availing Vitamin D through natural sunlight and intake of fortified food among school going children.

The campaign — Project Dhoop — will be implemented in collaboration with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) and private firm Kwality Ltd, the regulator said in a statement.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) informed stakeholders about the proposed campaign at an interaction on the issue of fortification. The campaign details are being worked out.

According to the National Health and Family Survey (2016), about 70 per cent of pre-school children and over 50 per cent of women suffer from anaemia caused by iron deficiency.

Alarming 70 per cent of the Indian population consumes less than 50 per cent of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of micronutrients.

On fortification, FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said, “Public health consequences of micronutrient deficiencies are serious. The message of food fortification therefore needs to go out using various methods, through various means, to various people.” Food fortification is simple, inexpensive yet priceless strategy that has been used across the world to effectively prevent vitamin and mineral deficiencies, he added.

The FSSAI has notified the standards and launched a fortification logo +F’ to help consumers and businesses identify the fortified product.

Santosh Karmarkar, an expert on folic acid deficiency said, It is the need of an hour to understand the importance of fortifying food with Vitamin D.” The source of Vitamin D is limited to sunlight and few non-vegetarian foods, hence fortifying foods is an essential intervention, said by R K Marwaha, Senior Consultant and Head of the Department of Endocrinology at AIIMS, New Delhi.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.