The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched ‘Project Dhoop’ to address rising incidence of Vitamin D deficiencies (VDD), particularly amongst the young people. The project aims to encourage schools to shift their morning assembly to around noon-time, mainly between 11 am to 1 pm to ensure maximum absorption of Vitamin D in students through natural sunlight.
It has been launched by FSSAI along with National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) as well as North MCD Schools. The concept of noon school assembly under it is an innovative and effective concept to ensure that school students get adequate Vitamin D through sunlight, while also opting to choose food products like milk and edible oils that are fortified with Vitamins A and D.
The launch of project comes in backdrop of rising incidence of Vitamin D deficiency in country as the studies have found that over 90% of boys and girls in various Indian cities are deficient in Vitamin D despite most part of India receiving abundant sunshine all the year through. Many factors can contribute to Vitamin D deficiency such as overuse of sun screen, wearing clothes that cover most of the skin, working inside all day in air-conditioned atmosphere among others
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)
FSSAI is a nodal statutory agency responsible for protecting and promoting public health in India through regulation and supervision of food safety. It was established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 and operates under aegis of Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.