The project will provide a unique experience of addressing changing lifestyles in Indian cities through food as an entry point as food plays an important role in the life of Indians. While education (e.g. schools) has mostly been tested as an entry point to influence the environmental awareness and sustainable lifestyles, there is no concrete evidence for it to make a dent largely due to the environmental education being in nascent stages in the country. To successfully achieve these food and nutrition goals, our nutrition workshops have the following elements: • Awareness sessions on healthy ways of eating • Provision of individual counselling sessions based on the diseased status as well as the needs of the people attending the sessions • Change in the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding the food consumption patterns The nutrition workshops are intended to create awareness amongst the people about the food they eat and if it is all healthy for them. To generate understanding on various ways of eating healthy like consumption of more organic food, reduce the unhealthy food items they are eating, importance of diversification of food items and their health benefits and the identification of various healthy traditional ways of eating. The nutritional counselling sessions at the workshops provides the customized way of eating the food which are specific for their disease condition for any individual. There are also cooking sessions which would help the people practice themselves by making use of the idea that providing information directly to the people would want them to practice it in their daily lives.
A nutrition workshop is for the people to understand more about healthy ways of eating in terms of what organic food is, the importance of the organic food consumption, diversification of food and the possible toxic items in food and the adulterants in the food items. The understanding of these things is important because they are necessary to make a change in the lifestyle that people are living, thus it can contribute to a better health. The nutritional counselling sessions by the physician and a public health nutritionist aims at developing customized diet plans for the people attending it based on the and helping them how to incorporate them to their daily diet. Since these are one to one sessions, people might find it useful to talk and make clarifications about the doubts they have. The follow up sessions will help to see if people are able to practice these diet changes and if it is benefiting them in terms of health. Nine nutritional sessions have been completed. The first one was at the Government Nehru Memorial High school, Malakpet colony, Hyderabad, Telangana. The participants included the students and their parents. These students were chosen by the class coordinator on the basis that these students frequently complained of the health issues. Initially a talk was given to the students and their parents on the topic healthy eating. Following these, the physical examination and history collection was done with the help of the global nutritional assessment questionnaire. Then the parents who accompanied them were given a meal plan for them to follow at home as most of the ailments that the children suffer are due to malnourishment. Thus, these students will act as proxy for the nutritional status of the family and will serve as a contact point. The fourth workshop was conducted at Excellentia infinitum school at Shamirpet. A talk was given to the students of class 7 on healthy eating simultaneously reducing the carbon footprints. Following the talk a question answer session also was arranged for the students. The remaining counselling sessions were at the Sahaja aharam stores in Tarnaka and KPHB respectively. Advertisements were given for the counselling sessions which have been taking place at the stores every Friday and Saturday respectively from 3 pm to 6 pm. The people who walked in were registered for the nutritional counselling sessions for the follow up study as well. After the nutritional counselling sessions, they were also helped to pick up the proper food items from the Food Info Mart based on their health conditions and their nutritional need following the nutritional counselling. These people will are given follow-up sessions and the health changes are being assessed. Also, the people who walk into the stores are given support to pick up the products based on their health needs or in order to maintain a balanced diet. A conference on traditional food systems was also attended in order to incorporate the knowledge into the nutritional counselling sessions.