WCD committee recommends banning sale of junk food in schools

New Delhi, Aug 20 (IANS) A committee set up by the women and child development (WCD) ministry has recommended banning sale of junk food in and around schools.

The committee constituted to look into the issues related to growing problems of obesity among children and its relationship with consumption of junk food submitted its report to the ministry this week.

The ministry is examining the report.

The committee was constituted under the chairmanship of director, National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad on matters relating to availability of junk food in myriad forms at various places accessible to children.

“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/behavioural dysfunctionalities in children including binge-eating, body dis-satisfaction, low self-esteem etc,” said a ministry statement.

“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,” it added.

The committee further suggested that shops and restaurants selling food within 200 meters of a school should not be permitted to sell these foods to children in school uniforms.

Besides, they have suggested that a list of desirable food items to be offered in the school canteen.

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