Government exercises control over junk food in schools

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 May 2017 11:37:35

Staff Reporter,

Women and Child Development has issued a list of food items and drinks which can be made available, and also those banned in school canteens

The school-going children will not get junk food in their school canteen, hence forth, if the directions issued by Women and Child Development Ministry, Government of India, are enforced strictly.

The step has been initiated in view of growing health problems and obesity among children. These health problems arising out of consumption of food and drinks products which are high in fats. Salt and sugar, called HFSS Food, have been banned from school canteens. The directions to this effect are issued by the Women and
Child development (WCD) Ministry on Monday. A study group chaired by Director of National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad was constituted to plan the food items which could be banned and those which can be made available for the school-going children.

The direction issued states that the obesity and other related health problems adversely affect studies of the children. The major health problems observed among the children include obesity, dental problems, juvenile diabetes and also heart disease. These health problems are related to food (including junk food) having high quantity of fats, salt and sugar. The WCD has also issued a list of food items and drinks which can be made available and also those banned from canteens. The onus of keeping a watch on the items available in the canteen is on the head of the school and the management.

The list has been made available on the website of Maharashtra Government ‘’ with the code number 201705081118585821.

The food items and drinks which have been banned include - fried items like potato chips, locally made squash, ice gola; carbonated and non-carbonated cold drinks; rasgulla, gulab jamun, pedha, kalakand, jalebi, imarti which contain sugar more than 30%; noodles, pizza, burger, tikka, panipuri; cake, biscuits, bun and pastry, jam, jelly, chocolates and peppermints etc.

Those which can be kept for consumption by the students include - Wheat roti, paratha with seasonal vegetables, mixed grain roti, paratha stuffed with seasonal vegetables, rice, pulao, pulses, halwa of wheat flour and black gram, dalia, kadhi chawal, khichadi, dal kattu, upama, paysam, papaya, tomato, eggs, Imli rice, idli, wada, sambar, sandwiches using vegetables, coconut water, jaljeera, shikanji etc.

The food items can be changes as per geographical regions and seasons and eating habits of the local children, but should be on the lines of the list issued by the ministry.