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World Egg day marks awareness programmes to Fight Malnutrition
Awareness programmes are being taken up all over the country on Friday to mark this year's World Egg Day as a means to fight malnutrition. The second Friday of October has been declared as World Egg Day by the International Egg Commission to help raise awareness about nutritional benefits of eggs.
India is the third highest producer of egg in the world but the per capita availability of eggs in India is only around 55 per person per year as against the National Institute of Nutrition recommendation of 180 eggs per capita per year. 
 
The egg is a wholesome, nutritious food with high nutrient density because, in proportion to its calorie count, it provides 12% of the daily value of protein and a wide variety of other nutrients such as vitamins, essential amino acids and minerals. While protein itself is an important constituent of healthy diet, the egg has been found to have two newly-recognized nutrients - lutein and zeaxanthin - that has put the egg in the "functional food" category. A functional food is one that provides health benefits beyond its basic nutrient content. Recent studies have shown that consuming lutein and zeaxanthin can significantly lower risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness affecting people over the age of 65. In addition, these reduce the likelihood of cataracts. 
 
According to recent figures published by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 1 billion people worldwide are currently underfed or undernourished, and this figure is expected to rise as the global population increases to 9.1 billion people by 2050. It is believed by nutritionists all over the world that malnutrition can be solved through use of one of the most affordable, high-quality protein: eggs. 
 
World Egg Day Programmes
 
Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, is coordinating and facilitating organization of the world egg day by involving stakeholders including poultry associations such as the National Egg Coordination Committee and the Poultry Federation of India to spread information and knowledge about the nutritive value of the egg. This day is being celebrated in all regions in the country, at New Delhi in the north, Pune in the west, Raipur in the east and Bangalore in the south. 
 
In New Delhi, a function is being organized at Tihar Jail with active involvement of jail inmates and jail officials, while in Pune, Raipur and Bengaluru, functions are being organized with school children along with accompanying parents and teachers. In addition, in some places specific institutions and organizations are being approached where the event will be celebrated by distributing pamphlets, brochures, recipe books for mothers, etc. Each participant will also be distributed two boiled eggs. 
 

In India the level of awareness about eggs is low and this event of celebrating egg day will be a stepping stone to not only spread the knowledge of value of eggs in human nutrition, but also to encourage private poultry farmers to pledge support to schools, hospitals and orphanages, supplying eggs to help provide the essential nutrition required and improve people’s overall health and diet.  

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