RADIO AND NUTRITION


Nutrition is a vital component of health and development. Stronger immune systems, safer pregnancies and deliveries, a decreased…

Nutrition is a vital component of health and development. Stronger immune systems, safer pregnancies and deliveries, a decreased risk of non-communicable diseases (including diabetes and cardiovascular disease), and longer life spans are all associated with better nutrition. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) calls for international cooperation to promote sustainable development. Nutrition is a critical component of SDG 2 (zero hunger). Its key points are to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.”

According to the WHO, improper nutrition leads to malnutrition, which is a significant threat to human health. Numerous types of malnutrition affect millions of individuals. As per reports, 462 million adults are underweight, and 1.9 billion are overweight or obese. 52 million children under the age of five have wasting, which is characterised by a low weight- to-height ratio. The global burden of malnutrition has serious and long-lasting effects on people and their families, as well as on communities, nations, and the economy. India started the POSHAN Abhiyaan in 2018 to boost nutrition. Poshan Abhiyaan Jan Andolan is one of the largest and most comprehensive plans across the globe, with specified targets aimed towards inculcating good health and nutrition practices. It is a flagship programme aimed at improving nutritional outcomes for children, adolescents, pregnant women, and lactating mothers.

Seeking Modern Applications for Real Transformation (SMART) is dedicated to raising awareness and giving communities the tools they need to speak up and fight for their rights and entitlements. It has worked with vulnerable communities, with a focus on women. In addition to promoting the rights of women, SMART works to advance the rights of marginalised and disadvantaged groups and to help them realise their full potential. With strong and ongoing on-ground community participation, SMART seeks to democratise information through radio. SMART uses narrowcasting to deliver information to the doorstep in areas where radio cannot reach. Due to the fact that it is run by local residents, the radio station has gained credibility in the community and the trust of its listeners.

SMART undertook campaigns like “Poshan ki Potli” in 2020 and “Poshan Ghar” in 2022 with UNICEF Delhi for sensitising community radios across 7 and 8 states, respectively. The project was based on the capacity-building of the community around assorted themes such as optimal breastfeeding, the importance of 1000 days, complementary feeding, and anaemia prevention in children, adolescent girls, and pregnant women. A game was also created in addition to broadcasting and narrowcasting to educate the people about the importance of nutrition.

Community radio (CR) is an accessible, participatory, and inclusive hyperlocal media tool. It is governed and managed by the community, which is aware of its members’ sensibilities, customs, and prevailing behavioural patterns. Community radio has the ability to communicate clearly, consistently, and effectively in a language or dialect that is most understood by the community it serves. It also has the ability to tailor its programming to the needs of the local community it serves. Community radio can facilitate local communities’ ability to critically examine social issues, practices, and policies that affect their lives and livelihoods and to share their own understandings. It can also educate and mobilise communities around development initiatives and strategies that will improve the lives of listeners (agriculture, education, health, and gender issues, disaster preparedness, and environmental degradation).

Although there is no obvious connection between radio and nutrition, both of these professions are vital to society. Nutrition is the study of how food affects the body and how the body uses food as a source of energy and nutrients. Radio is a form of communication that sends audio signals through the air for radios to receive. However, radio can be utilised as a method to disseminate knowledge and increase awareness about the value of nutritious food.

Community radios are used as a method to disseminate knowledge and increase awareness about the value of nutritious food. Radio shows that focus on health and wellness issues can educate listeners on proper diet, cooking techniques, and healthy lifestyle choices. Radio stations also work with nutritionists and dieticians to produce and air instructional portions that offer suggestions for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and eating regimen. This can be an effective strategy to get your message out to a large audience and encourage good habits that can help you avoid numerous chronic diseases.

In conclusion, even though radio and nutrition are two different spheres, they can cooperate to advance public health. Society may learn more about the value of good nutrition and its benefits to health and well-being by using radio as a medium for disseminating information on healthy eating and the importance of a balanced nutritious diet. In order to promote public health and foster a culture of health and wellness, radio can be a crucial tool.