Owing to the growing problems of obesity among children junk food would soon find its way out of schools. A committee set up by the women and child development (WCD) ministry has recommended banning the sale of junk food in and around schools. The committee constituted to look into the issues related to childhood obesity and its relationship with consumption of junk food.
The committee was constituted under the chairmanship of director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad on matters relating to availability of junk food at various places accessible to children. They submitted its report to the ministry this week.
A ministry statement said, "The members of the committee have expressed concern about the increasing incidence of obesity in children and the related physiological issues including diabetes, hypertension etc. They have also given details of consequences of increasing psychological/behavioral dysfunctionalities in children including binge-eating, body dis-satisfaction, low self-esteem etc. The committee has comprehensively reviewed the prevalent practices of regulation of junk food in 23 countries across the world and has also examined the legislative/institutional framework available in India. Based on their study, a number of recommendations have been made."
The committee further suggested that shops and restaurants selling junk food within 200 meters of a school should not be permitted to sell these foods to children in school uniforms. Besides, the committee has also suggested a list of desirable food items to be offered in the school canteen.