KARACHI: Unsafe and low per-capita milk consumption is contributing significantly to widespread malnutrition in Pakistan, Fayza Khan, a nutritionist and chairperson of the Pakistan Nutritionists and Dietetics Society (PNDS) said on Friday.
Speaking at the launch of an awareness campaign for Ultra High Temperature (UHT)-treated milk, Khan said that United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund’s (UNICEF) nutrition assessments – which are available publicly – have revealed alarming rates of malnutrition in Pakistan.
Quoting one such report published by the UNICEF, she said malnutrition contributes 35% of under-five deaths that is an easily reversible trend. She said UHT process retains nutrition better than open pan boiled milk which in turn delivers better nutrition for the entire family, especially young children.
Ahsan Afzaal Ahmad, marketing director of Engro Foods – that sells UHT milk – said milk as a source of nutrition has remained an integral part of the Pakistani food culture. “However, even though Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producer in the world, the country is facing severe problem of malnutrition,” said Ahmad.
According to UNICEF’s Progress Report for 2013-2015, 44% of Pakistani children are stunted. This is the third highest percentage of stunted children in the world. This means that more than 9.6 million Pakistani children have experienced chronic nutrition deprivation in utero and/or during early childhood.
The aim of the campaign, Ahmad said, is to highlight the importance of drinking nutritious milk which is free from adulterants and contaminants, and the beneficial impact that UHT milk can have on the individual’s health.
Source: The Express Tribune