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Re: The contribution of the private sector and civil society to improve nutrition

Mr. Raghavendra Guru Srinivasan Independent, India
05.09.2013
Raghavendra Guru

Problem

Excess Nutrition or Overeating leads to obesity and deterioration in human capital.

Possible solution

The basic fact is that intense practitioners of yoga consume food only once a day while moderate practitioners of yoga consume food twice a day. With the normal consumption being around three times on a given day, the economic benefit or the reduction in food consumption due to yoga practice is two meals per person per day for intense practitioner and the same would be one meal per person per day for moderate practitioner. In addition, the economic benefit includes increase in well-being & consciousness, and decrease in cost of non-communicable diseases.

Thus yoga can be a mitigating factor for overeating that leads to obesity. Yoga is different from other physical activity as one has to reduce food consumption to progress in practice.   I have proposed that Yoga be recognised as Clean development mechanism for food energy.

 
Policy Issues
I have explained the policy issues in the attached document they include Simplification of food taxes globally and embedding physical activity in education.
 
Programme Success - example America
Percentage of Yoga practitioners in America has shot up to 8.7% of the total population by 2012.
The savings in food consumption could be well over 1% of national food consumption together with phenomenal development in human capital.  This percentage of 8.7% in USA was achieved due to decades of hard work of yoga teachers while people in India have started undergoing bariatric surgery.
 
Governance
Recognition of Yoga as clean development mechanism is primary and we need to create corresponding governance frameworks similar to that of the frameworks we have for fossil fuels.
 
Partnerships
Partnerships are required at international and national level to embed best practice in education.   The Partnerships to be built could be similar to that of Michelle obama's promotion of physical activity in developing countries.  Such partnership are non existent in India which has the dual problem of malnutrition and obesity.