Chandigarh: Junk food items, including samosas, burgers, pizzas, patties and chowmein, will no longer be sold in the canteens of government and private schools in Haryana. The decision has been taken in the interest of the health of 48 lakh students studying in the schools in the state.
A survey conducted by the Union Ministry of Social Welfare last year had revealed the consumption of junk food was leading to obesity among school children, besides making them prone to diabetes and heart diseases at an early age. After this, the Union HRD ministry had issued guidelines to the state governments. Acting on the guidelines, the Delhi and Maharashtra governments have already banned sale of such food in school canteens.
The Haryana government, going a step further, has also banned sale of junk food around the schools. “Vendors selling prohibited food items would not be allowed to sell their ware within a specified radius of the schools,” Suman Nain, district education officer of Palwal said.
Hypertension and diabetes
Dr Nitin Yadav said that junk food is high on calories and sugar and both are harmful for growing children.
It is due to consumption of this kind of food and sedentary lifestyle that young adults in the 18-20 years age-group are falling victim to diseases like hypertension and diabetes.
[box type=”note” align=”” class=”” width=””]Schools have been asked to ensure that no junk food item is sold in canteens and also that children do some or the other physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day – Rajiv Ratan, director, school education, Government of Haryana.[/box]
(Story: Manoj Kumar)