UPSC DAILY Editorial

Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels & Zinc Deficiency -GK Dose

Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels & Zinc Deficiency

Story Highlights

  • Inadequate zinc intake can have serious health consequences
  • Rising carbon dioxide levels can accelerate zinc deficiency
This section contains some shortcodes that requries the Jannah Extinsions Plugin. Install it from the Theme Menu > Install Plugins.

[dropcap]R[/dropcap]ising carbon dioxide levels can accelerate zinc deficiency in crops and thus in human consumption, according to a new study titled ‘Inadequate zinc intake in India: Past, Present and Future’ by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

  • Food crops such as wheat, rice, barley, soya, and field peas, which serve as an important source of dietary zinc for billions of people around the world, have recently been shown to contain lower concentrations of zinc and other nutrients when grown under open field conditions.
  • The study states that inadequate zinc intake has been rising in India for decades, causing tens of millions of people to become newly deficient in it.
    • The highest rate of inadequate zinc intake was concentrated mainly in the southern and northeastern States with rice-dominated diets: Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.
    • The national rates of inadequate zinc intake has increased from 17% to 25% between 1983 and 2012.
    • Rising carbon dioxide levels in the coming decades could accelerate this trend.
  • Apart from rising CO2 emissions, changing diets and an aging population are also seen as factors responsible for increasing zinc deficiency.
    • Overall urban populations, and wealthier urban groups in particular, showed higher rates of inadequate intake as well, due to a higher proportion of nutrient-poor fats and sugars in the diet.

Zinc Deficiency

  • Zinc supports cell function, helping an estimated 100 enzymes perform their duties. It plays additional roles in the body, including:
    • boosting immune function,
    • helping cells divide,
    • maintaining the sense of smell and taste,
    • promoting wound healing,
    • Zinc also supports a person’s growth and development. As such, it is an essential mineral for pregnant women as well as growing children.
  • Human body does not store zinc, which means getting enough of the mineral from food is important in preventing a deficiency.
  • Inadequate zinc intake can have serious health consequences, particularly for young children, who are more susceptible to contracting malaria, diarrhoeal diseases and pneumonia, when suffering from zinc deficiency.
    • The presence of zinc plays a critical role in human immune systems.
  • National grain fortification programmesincreased dietary diversity, bio-fortified crops, and reduced carbon dioxide emissions could make a difference to slow or reverse the course.

Food fortification

Food fortification refers to the process of adding essential micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, to food staples to make them more nutritious.

Food fortification is an effective strategy to meet the nutritional needs of a large number of people across various sections of the society, including the poor and underprivileged as well as the vulnerable, such as pregnant women and young children.

Common micronutrients deficient in Indian diets are iron, iodine, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Fortification of Vanaspati with Vitamin A and D started more than 50 years ago and has been mandatory in the country since 1953.

The tremendous success of salt iodization programme signifies the potential of food fortification.

Salt iodization in India started with the National Goiter Control Programme in 1962. It gained momentum in 1980s and mandated the distribution of iodized salt in 1997. Voluntary wheat flour fortification were notified in 1970s.

Article 47 of the Constitution documents that it is duty of the state to raise the level of nutrition and the standard of living and to improve public health.


Jayant Srivastava

Hello Everyone, Am happy to start this project which is Completely a free service. Though am not a mentor, Am just doing this for my self satisfaction and for supporting the Financially Backward. I think you all understand my intention in creating this and ultimate purpose of this blog is providing free material for the needy people. Coming to UPSC Preparation, people created assumptions like UPSC is the toughest exam and You can’t clear it unless you join a coaching. By this false statements economically backward Students are dropping their aspirations even before they start. To wipe out all those assumptions, I have started this. Here, all materials which are important for clearing UPSC will be shared for free of cost, yes this is completely free and we are doing this to serve the poor who can’t afford the coaching institutions. Join us on Telegram also.
Back to top button
All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove