The Nagaland government on Tuesday banned the sale of junk food including chips, soft drinks and fried foods both within the school campuses as well as in a radius of 200 metres from each school, and asked the school authorities to take steps for making both children and parents aware about obesity, HFSS foods and importance of physical activity.
A notification issued by the Nagaland Board of School Education on Tuesday in Kohima also asked the school authorities to constitute a 7-10 member School Canteen Management Committee which would be solely responsible for ensuring that no junk food found way to the school campuses. The Committee that should include teachers, parents, students and canteen operators would be also solely responsible for providing safe food to the school children, it said.
“Consumption of foods High in Fat, Salt and Sugar (HFSS), popularly known as junk food, is associated with increased risk of certain diseases such as type-2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, chronic inflammation and hyper-insulinemia with a risk of cardiovascular diseases in later life. These diseases and childhood obesity have been reportedly found to affect the cognitive and physical development of children adversely causing an irreparable loss to the society,” the notification said.
The notification also directed school authorities to conduct timely checking of quality of raw materials and ingredients and decide the lunch items to be prepared in the school canteen/kitchen. The Committee would also see that food in schools are up to standard and meet the guidelines as outlined by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The Board also asked the school authorities to conduct regular inspection of lunch boxes of students in order to minimize the consumption of unhealthy foods may be done by the schools.