POSHAN Maah 2020: Food Safety Regulator Bans Selling Of Junk Food To Schoolchildren To Inculcate The Habit Of Healthy Eating

POSHAN Maah 2020: Food Safety Regulator Bans Selling Of Junk Food To Schoolchildren To Inculcate The Habit Of Healthy Eating

According to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s new regulations, food items that are high in saturated fat or trans-fat or added sugar or sodium like chips, burgers, soft drinks cannot be sold in canteens and within 50 metres of the premises schools and other educational institutions
National Nutrition Month, News, Nutrition
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POSHAN Maah 2020: Food Safety Regulator Bans Selling Of Junk Food To Schoolchildren To Inculcate The Habit Of Healthy EatingFSSAI has prohibited the sale of food items that are high in saturated fat or trans-fat or with added sugar or sodium in school premises and within 50 metres of the school gate
Highlights
  • The aim is to ensure that school children get safe, wholesome food: FSSAI
  • It is a necessary ban, children must be given only healthy choices: Teacher
  • Schools need to promote balanced diets amongst school children: FSSAI

New Delhi: During the pre-COVID times, when Saumya, a student of Class 4, used to go to school the lunch break used to be the highlight of her day. Eating and playing with her friends, is what she misses the most now that the schools are shut. Another thing that she misses equally is her visits to the school canteen. Every time, when she used to find a vegetable in her lunch box that she was not fond of, she simply used to decide on not eating it and marched happily into her school canteen with pocket money in her hand and came out with a large burger full of cheese and potato. Now, right when the governments were mulling over reopening of schools, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an order which restricts the sale of junk and unhealthy food in canteens of schools and other educational institutions. It has prohibited the sale of all kinds of foods that are high in saturated fat, trans-fat, added sugar or sodium within 50 metres of the school gate.

Also Read: Poshan Maah 2020: Why Protecting Health And Nutrition Rights Of Children During COVID-19 Is Important For India, Experts Speak

According to Arun Singhal, Chief Executive Officer, FSSAI, the aim is to inculcate right eating habits in children since early childhood. He said,

If they start young then they can continue their habits later on. The regulation says that high fat, salt and sugar products which are commonly referred to as junk food will not be sold and will not be marketed/ advertised in campuses of schools and in areas within 50 meters of the school gate. So, this is one regulation which is going to ensure that healthy food/nutritious food is made available in school canteens and the children start having healthy food at a very young age.

He further said that providing healthy options to choose from is the responsibility of the businesses. The FSSAI’s regulation is in line with the government’s pledge to cap trans fats to meet the World Health Organisation’s target of a trans-fats free world by 2023.

According to an official at FSSAI, for implementing the ban, all the food business operators in schools and within 50 metres of the premise will be given 180 days to comply with the regulations. FSSAI has also asked states to create a State Level Advisory Committee to monitor the implementation of these regulations and to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food to school children. The violators will be penalised under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 as follows:

– Any person or business selling a food product that is not in compliance with the regulations of FSSAI is liable to a penalty of Rs. 5 lakh.

– If the food business operator or food product importer fails to comply with the perquisites of the rules and regulations laid by statutory authority is liable to a penalty up to Rs. 2 lakh.

– Any person who, whether by himself or by any other person on his behalf, manufactures or processes any article of food for human consumption under unhygienic or unsanitary conditions, he shall be liable to pay a penalty which may extend to Rs. 1 lakh.

Also Read: In COVID-19 Pandemic, More And More Families Are Going Hungry Thereby Impacting India’s Nutritional Status: NGO Save The Children

Various state food authorities and public authorities like municipal corporations or panchayats will also conduct surveillance to ensure compliance of the regulations issued by FSSAI. Regular inspection of premises to ensure that safe, balanced and hygienic food is served to students and a Health and Wellness Ambassador Health and Wellness team may be appointed as the nodal persons to monitor the availability of safe, balanced and hygienic food. Ganesh Kandwal Designated Officer, Dehradun said,

Eating junk food can lead to many problems including high blood sugar. This will not only impact a child’s present learning but will also put their entire future in peril. The world is already under a huge burden of non-communicable diseases that are resulted from poor eating choices. The pandemic has also reminded the importance of eating right and building a stronger internal immunity. We are going to ensure that the regulations are followed properly in the state.

School Canteens, Mid-Day Meal Kitchens Now Need To Get FSSAI License To Operate

According to FSSAI’s regulations, the school authorities that are selling or catering school meals and the contractors hired by the Department of School Education for operations of mid-day meal schemes must obtain a license and comply with sanitary and hygienic practices. It further says that school authorities must ensure that caterers supplying prepared meals in the premises are on the basis of regulation and as per the direction issued by the Food Authority or the Commissioners of Food safety. The FSSAI suggests schools to engage nutritionists and dietitians in the preparation of the menu for the children. It calls for converting school campuses into ‘Eat Right Campus’ focusing on the provision of safe and healthy food, local and seasonal food and developing practices amongst kids on food waste as per the specified benchmarks.

The regulations further state that school authority should ensure that a board containing warning “Do not sell (including free sale or market or advertise) the food products high in saturated fat or trans-fat or added sugar or sodium within school premises or campus” in English or one Indian language, as applicable, is displayed prominently at the entrance gate or gates of the school.

Also Read: Poshan Month 2020: Akshaya Patra, India’s Largest Mid-Day Meal Serving Organisation, Tells NDTV About How They Are Providing Nutrition To Children Amid COVID-19

While talking about the regulation on junk food, Preeti Sharma, a teacher at Delhi Public School, Haridwar highlighted the lack of awareness among parents. She said,

Healthy and balanced diet leads to the development of the cognitive ability of children and help them learn better and grow healthy. Keeping this in mind, our school administration banned the sale of chips on the campus. However, we observed that even after the ban, children were bringing chips from home. This is mainly because there is a lack of awareness about the importance of nutrition among people. Habits are not built in one day and certainly not by restricting children from eating something. Habits are built by consistently providing them with healthy food and teaching them by example by eating well ourselves, as parents and as teachers. Nutrition is something, people tend to ignore which was evident from the fact that when we organise workshops for parents on nutrition occasionally and just a few parents participate. So, I think along with banning junk food from school and areas around the school, it is important that people are made sensitised towards the importance of good nutrition for a child’s development.

Sonal Chauhan, mother of Mohit, a student of Class 11, welcomed the ban and said that her son and many other students in his class did not prefer taking home-cooked meals to school and so almost every day they consumed junk food. She said,

I am very worried about my son’s eating habits. This is mainly because, in school, they have a strange trend of not bringing lunch to school and those who bring are bullied and called pre-schoolers. This shows how awfully far they are from the understanding about good food and nutrition. I have tried all tactics as a mother to make him stop eating the junk food at the canteen but with no luck. I think a ban like this can help.

Also Read: POSHAN Maah: Nutri-Gardens Adopted To Improve Dietary Diversity And Nutritional Status Of Undernourished Children In Udaipur

NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (WaterSanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollutionwaste managementplastic banmanual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene

World

17,59,54,708Cases
5,81,66,715Active
11,39,84,189Recovered
38,03,804Deaths
Coronavirus has spread to 193 countries. The total confirmed cases worldwide are 17,59,54,708 and 38,03,804 have died; 5,81,66,715 are active cases and 11,39,84,189 have recovered as on June 14, 2021 at 3:36 am.

India

2,95,10,410 70,421Cases
9,73,15853,001Active
2,81,62,947 1,19,501Recovered
3,74,305 3,921Deaths
In India, there are 2,95,10,410 confirmed cases including 3,74,305 deaths. The number of active cases is 9,73,158 and 2,81,62,947 have recovered as on June 14, 2021 at 2:30 am.

State Details

State Cases Active Recovered Deaths
Maharashtra

59,08,992 10,442

1,58,617 167

56,39,271 7,504

1,11,104 2,771

Karnataka

27,65,134 7,810

1,80,856 10,961

25,51,365 18,646

32,913 125

Kerala

27,28,239 11,584

1,23,433 6,478

25,93,625 17,856

11,181 206

Tamil Nadu

23,53,721 14,016

1,49,927 12,146

21,74,247 25,895

29,547 267

Andhra Pradesh

18,09,844 6,770

85,637 5,780

17,12,267 12,492

11,940 58

Uttar Pradesh

17,02,624 452

8,986 820

16,71,852 1,221

21,786 51

West Bengal

14,61,257 3,984

17,651 1,403

14,26,710 2,497

16,896 84

Delhi

14,31,139 255

3,466 144

14,02,850 376

24,823 23

Chhattisgarh

9,86,963 459

13,677 1,405

9,59,969 1,858

13,317 6

Rajasthan

9,49,684 308

7,441 959

9,33,421 1,260

8,822 7

Odisha

8,51,782 4,469

51,681 3,309

7,96,799 7,733

3,302 45

Gujarat

8,20,321 455

10,249 614

8,00,075 1,063

9,997 6

Madhya Pradesh

7,88,183 274

4,251 524

7,75,380 780

8,552 18

Haryana

7,65,861 339

4,661 525

7,52,208 821

8,992 43

Bihar

7,17,215 487

5,312 389

7,02,411 868

9,492 8

Telangana

6,03,369 1,280

21,137 996

5,78,748 2,261

3,484 15

Punjab

5,87,903 956

12,981 1,083

5,59,360 1,980

15,562 59

Assam

4,59,497 2,167

41,373 3,272

4,14,173 5,403

3,951 36

Jharkhand

3,43,458 154

3,395 571

3,34,979 723

5,084 2

Uttarakhand

3,36,879 263

4,633 388

3,25,311 644

6,935 7

Jammu And Kashmir

3,07,412 774

15,081 1,203

2,88,145 1,965

4,186 12

Himachal Pradesh

1,98,550 237

4,777 625

1,90,382 855

3,391 7

Goa

1,62,468 420

4,882 175

1,54,658 581

2,928 14

Puducherry

1,12,528 402

5,331 414

1,05,513 809

1,684 7

Chandigarh

61,110 54

520 20

59,798 71

792 3

Manipur

59,852 530

8,499 211

50,379 726

974 15

Tripura

59,321 235

5,170 382

53,531 610

620 7

Meghalaya

41,906 305

4,623 248

36,550 547

733 6

Arunachal Pradesh

31,282 134

2,885 302

28,252 434

145 2

Nagaland

23,644 82

3,502 131

19,689 208

453 5

Ladakh

19,561 17

658 88

18,706 105

197

Sikkim

18,414 157

3,553 230

14,580 387

281

Mizoram

15,364 97

3,549 111

11,748 203

67 5

Dadra And Nagar Haveli

10,463 1

78 17

10,381 18

4

Lakshadweep

9,209 34

576 39

8,589 72

44 1

Andaman And Nicobar Islands

7,261 18

110 11

7,025 29

126

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