Healthy Pakistan, Progressive Pakistan

As part of its’ annual student engagement plan NUR Student Leadership Program in collaboration with NUR-FMS School of Nutrition organized the event “Healthy Pakistan, Progressive Pakistan” to commemorate the upcoming 23rd March 2018 Pakistan day and the March Nutrition Month. The Nur Student Leadership Program is part of the visionary and goal oriented approach of Nur Foundation towards integrated community development. The program was launched in 1995 and enrolls secondary, undergraduate and graduate students from across Pakistan. To date, 1,650 students from more than 60 schools, colleges and universities have completed the internship offered by the program. NUR-FMS School of Nutrition promotes educational activities, trainings, research, food and nutrition services and social development in the field of nutrition. The organized event advocated for the need of nutritional enhancement of students across the country for an overall healthier population and for Pakistan to enhance its’ global competitiveness and progress economically. It acted as an infotainment based forum to gather students from various schools and universities across Lahore to recognize their role as gatekeepers and guardians for children’s health and wellbeing outcomes by promoting a healthy eating culture and basic food hygiene practices. Main features of the event included a “Healthy Bake Sale” where students participated in the challenge of providing taste with health through selling baked food items that were low in fat and high in fiber unlike the common sugary treats that provide empty calories. The bake sale was successful and showcased that giving bake sales a healthy edge didn’t t have to mean less fun, fewer customers, or lower profits. The participating institutions included NUR International University, Nestle Clinical Health, Khaalis Kitchenette, Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad; Gulab Devi Educational Complex; College of Home Economics; Lahore Vital Group; Minhaj University; Government College University, Sahiwal; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and Toba Tek Singh; Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore; Rashid Latif Medical College, Lahore; University of Faisalabad; Sargodha Medical College, Sargodha and University of Lahore. A panel of judges including Professor Dr. Nighat Bhatti (Head of Department, Nur International University), Dr. Tahir Zahoor (Director General, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad) Ms. Saman Tahir (Manager Research and Technical Services) and Ms. Shazia Zehra (Head of Department, NUR-FMS School of Nutrition) evaluated bake sale competition. In addition, a documentary and poster making competition was held to allow students of various ages to express their sentiments of what a truly “Healthy Pakistan” means to them. Both the competitions were evaluated by panel of experts including Ms. Beenish Kashif, Mr. Aazar Zaman Duranni and Ms. Iqra Nasim. Students of Saeed School won the first prize, Musab School won the second and Govt. Girls High School Model Town won the third prize. The event also included a “Continuous Dietetics and Nutrition Education” seminar with 169 participants including students from a wide variety of backgrounds. Mr. Mudassar Ali, an experienced fitness and health expert was the key note speaker and talked on the importance of habit based lifestyle change programs to overcome the fads that the youth follow today. He stated that as fitness and health expert the first rule we taught is “There are no good and bad foods. Eat all foods in Moderation.” Furthermore, he emphasized the importance of physical activity along with dietary changes to make sustainable changes in weight and encouraged that a minimum of 30 minutes of structured physical activity per day for five days a week is recommended for all adults. Certificates for the attendees and cash prize distribution to the competition participants were distributed at the end of the lecture followed by a speech by Mrs. Shahima Rehman, Chairperson, Nur Foundation.

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