Prof. Dr. Ali Khomsan: Nutrition is an Important Entry Point for Improving Human Resources

The demographic bonus makes Indonesia have a large workforce, the peak of which is in the next 2030. The problem is, human resources (HR) in Indonesia are of low quality because 54 percent of the population of productive age 18 to 65 years are formerly stunted.

"Stunting is only one of three nutritional problems experienced by our nation. Two other problems are the increasing spread of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease. This is due to overnutrition and lack of micronutrients such as iron and zinc. These three are called the triple burden of malnutrition," explained Prof. Ali Khomsan, a community nutrition expert.

This lecturer at IPB University from the Department of Public Nutrition, Faculty of Human Ecology explained, the motto of four being healthy and five perfect has been initiated by Prof. Poerwo Soedarmo since the 1950s. In 1995-1996, the Ministry of Health launched the General Guidelines for Balanced Nutrition (PUGS) which later evolved into the Guidelines for Balanced Nutrition (PGS) in 2014.

However, until now, many people are still confused when asked about the concept of balanced nutrition. Four healthy and five perfect are easier to memorize and understand by people. Besides, it turns out that the Ministry of Agriculture has also promoted the slogan B2SA (Diverse, Nutritious, Balanced, and Safe).

"The only families who can consume four healthy five perfect days may only be those from the middle to upper economic class. Meanwhile, there are more than 25 million poor people in Indonesia who don't know what to eat tomorrow. Therefore, the pillar of nutrition for a good food consumption pattern must be based on the pillar of nutrition, "explained Prof. Ali.

Regarding the pillar of nutrition, Prof. Ali explained, the first pillar is the diversity of consumption. Diverse food is very important because there is no single type of food that can provide complete nutrition for a person. With a variety of food consumption, deficiency of nutrients from one type of food will be complemented by nutrients from other foods.

The second pillar is food safety. The community, in general, has not paid attention to or has not had awareness about food safety (in a broad sense) so that there has not been much demand for producers (especially home-industry) to produce safe and quality food products.

"People from low socio-economic groups are satisfied if they can buy food products at low prices, even though these products are of low quality and safety is not guaranteed. The government's practice of using formaldehyde, borax, and dyes in food products is not serious enough," he explained.

Over the years, continued Prof. Ali, maybe many of us have been exposed to these dangerous substances without doing anything. The development of safe food consumption behavior takes a relatively long time.

Prof. Ali also touched on the current lifestyle. He said, currently we are entering the era of sedentary lifestyles or a lifestyle that is lighthearted. This creates an increased risk of obesity. Moreover, currently during the COVID-19 pandemic, many activities must be carried out at home (work from home), including in the field of education.

"Obesity is a risk factor for various degenerative diseases, such as coronary heart disease, hypertension, gout, cancer, and others. These diseases are not contagious, but are transmitted to others through changes in diet or lifestyle," added Prof. Ali.

Prof. Ali also suggested eating foods with balanced nutrition. "Moderate is the best is a healthy tip in eating food so that we avoid deficiency or excess nutrition. The quality of human resources is influenced by many things. "Nutrition is an important entry point for improving human resources because nutrition is closely related to health," he added.

Meanwhile, the prerequisites for getting a good nutritional intake are the availability of food and access (income) to get food. During the COVID-19 pandemic situation, access to food has been disrupted due to many layoffs and economic growth has not yet recovered. That is why the human development index can fall due to a prolonged pandemic that is still threatening the nations of the world. (RA)

Published Date : 13-Jan-2021

Resource Person : Prof Dr Ali Khomsan

Keyword : food, balanced nutrition, national quality, lifestyle, IPB nutrition experts, IPB lecturers