Big data to play role in bet­ter nutri­tion

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By WANG XIAODONG wangx­i­aodong@ chi­nadaily.com.cn

Big data tech­nolo­gies will play a greater role in im­prov­ing the health and nutri­tion of Chi­nese peo­ple in the next decade, a top health of­fi­cial said on Wed­nes­day.

“We will pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of health and nutri­tion in­dus­tries with the help of cloud com­put­ing, big data and the in­ter­net to pro­vide cus­tom­ized ser­vices that are easy to ac­cess,” Jin Xiao­tao, vice-min­is­ter of the Na­tional Health and Fam­ily Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, said at a news con­fer­ence about a na­tional nutri­tion plan.

“The pub­lic will have a brand-new ex­pe­ri­ence of nutri­tion and health,” Jin said. “They will en­joy more pre­cise and cus­tom­ized guid­ance on nutri­tion and tril­lion health in an en­vi­ron­ment of ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence.

For ex­am­ple, peo­ple can get up in the morn­ing and get tips about their health, Jin said — how heavy a work­load they can bear on that day and what they should have for lunch.

The com­mis­sion is mak­ing plans to carry out the Na­tional Nutri­tion Plan (2017-30), which was re­leased by the central gov­ern­ment last week, Jin said.

The plan, which emerged amid var­i­ous health chal­lenges, in­clud­ing un­healthy life­styles and an in­crease of nutri­tion-re­lated dis­eases, sets tar­gets for im­prov­ing nutri­tion by 2020 and 2030.

The goals in­clude re­duc­ing the in­ci­dence of ane­mia in preg­nant women to be­low 10 per­cent by 2030 (from the 2015 level of 17 per­cent) and de­creas­ing the per­cent­age of chil­dren un­der 5 with stunted growth to be­low 5 per­cent.

The av­er­age daily in­take of salt will be re­duced by 20 per­cent by 2030 from cur­rent lev­els, un­der the plan, while growth of the over­weight pop­u­la­tion will be no­tice­ably checked.

Au­thor­i­ties will take mea­sures to im­prove nutri­tion, in­clud­ing leg­is­la­tion, en­cour­ag­ing sci­en­tific re­search, cul­ti­va­tion of tal­ent, en­cour­ag­ing the de­vel­op­ment of nu­tri­tious foods and pro­mot­ing up­grades in the food in­dus­try, ac­cord­ing to the plan.

“The plan is based on de­tailed sur­veys and pays par­tic­u­lar at­ten­tion to promi­nent nutri­tion prob­lems,” said Yan Weix­ing, deputy di­rec­tor of the China Na­tional Cen­ter for Food Safety Risk As­sess­ment.

“We also bor­rowed from suc­cess­ful in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in the for­mu­la­tion of the plan,” Yan said. “The goals are achiev­able with ef­fort.”

Jin said a na­tional health data plat­form link­ing the plat­forms of all pro­vin­cial re­gions in China has been es­tab­lished, paving the way for the mass de­vel­op­ment of more in­tel­li­gent and cus­tom­ized health ser­vices.

The health in­dus­try in China, in­clud­ing the nutri­tion in­dus­try, is ex­pected to reach $17 tril­lion by about 2035, ac­count­ing for about half of China’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct by then, Jin said.

Es­ti­mated value of China’s health in­dus­try by about 2035

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