[Answered] Food fortification is a simple, scalable, sustainable, and cost-effective public health strategy. Critically analyze the statement.

Introduction: Contextual introduction.

Body: Write down benefits of food fortification. Write a few points on the challenges of food fortification.

Conclusion: Way forward

The World Health Organisation defines hidden hunger or micronutrient malnutrition as a lack of vitamins and minerals. This occurs when the quality of food eaten does not meet nutrient requirements. Food fortification is a part of Eat Right India campaign. Fortified foods have added vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. Micronutrients are necessary for many important body functions.


  • Cost-effective: Foods that are high in certain nutrients can be expensive. E.g. fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids but may cost too much to buy regularly. Eggs, milk, and other products can be fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. These products often cost less and still have similar nutritional value.
  • Prevent nutrition-related illness: Fortified foods have helped to reduce rates of nutrient deficiency-related illnesses like rickets. ‌They’re helpful in pregnancy. E.g. folic acid is added to many fortified products. During pregnancy it lowers the risk of birth defects.
  • In old age body absorbs fewer vitamins and minerals. Fortified foods can help maintain healthy micronutrient levels to keep bones strong and prevent heart issues. Thus protect older adults. Fortified foods can boost children’s nutrition, alongside a balanced diet.‌‌
  • It is a socio-culturally acceptable way to deliver nutrients to people and does not require any change in eating habits or behavior.


  • Inadequate evidence: The evidence supporting fortification is inconclusive. E.g. both anaemia and Vitamin A deficiencies are over diagnosed, meaning that mandatory fortification could lead to hypervitaminosis.
  • Cartelisation: Fortification may harm the vast informal economy of Indian farmers and food processors including local oil and rice mills and instead benefit a small group of multinational corporations.
  • Added to unhealthy foods: Just because a food product is fortified does not mean it is healthy. Fortified foods are usually heavily processed. They are often high in sugars, fats, sodium, and other ingredients that can lead to problems like obesity.
  • ‌Risk of vitamin overdose: There is concern that one might get too many vitamins and minerals in diet which can be harmful.
  • The one major problem with chemical fortification of foods is that nutrients do not work in isolation but need each other for optimal absorption.

Way forward:

  • Dietary diversity is a healthier and more cost-effective way to fight malnutrition.
  • Home gardening and educating people on food preparation and preservation methods to prevent nutrient loss are some approaches that can be helpful.
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