Pakistan Nutrition and Dietetics Society’s (PNDS) President Fayza Khan on Saturday revealed that Pakistan’s 58 population is underfed, while Sindh’s 70% population is food insecure.

“If we look at the National Health Survey 2011 results, there is no improvement in nutrition indicators of Pakistan’s population. Stunting among children has increased from 41% to 43.7% in 10 years, while percentage of wasting and underweight among children remain same,” she said while addressing the “Nutrition & Lifestyle Conference”, organized by National Food Limited at a local hotel here to raise awareness about healthy eating and active lifestyle.

She said death ratio attributed to non-communicable diseases has increased from 34.1% to 54.9%, while Pakistan’s 58% population is food insecure and situation is even worst in Sindh, where food insecurity is about 70%. “It is an alarming situation which is primarily due to poverty, high illiteracy rates, and food insecurity,” she said.

Baqai Institute of Diabetology’s Director Dr Abdul Basit said according to World Health Organization, 1.6 billion adults (aged over 15 years) are overweight, while 400 million are obese. He said sedentary lifestyle with no physical activity, fast food intake, and soft drink consumption are a major factors causing health problem.

Dr Iqbal Choudhary advised the public, saying it is high time to improve dietary quality by consuming fruit and vegetables, decreaing intake of high-energy, low-nutrient foods, reducing consumption of sugar, sweetened drinks, sodium in the food supply, doing away with industrially produced trans-fat from the food supply, increasing physical activity, and preventing micronutrient malnutrition.

National Food’s Chairman Abdul Majeed said the nutritional health of Pakistan is one of the most pressing issues facing our country in present era; therefore we need to create an ideal atmosphere for sharing information and developing solutions to improve the health and lifestyle of people across the country and the globe.

Prof Abdullah Umer (Peter Baillie), Dr Rashida Ali, Prof Abid Hasnain, Ms Sarah Ikram, Dr Tahira Mohsin, Ms Saima Rasheed and Prof Dr Hafizur Rehman Panjwani also spoke on the occasion.