Junk Food At Schools Under FSSAI Scanner

The food regulatory authority of India, FSSAI has now brought Junk Foods under its scanner, and issued a list of guidelines to all the schools over its website. As per the drafted guidelines, country’s top food regulator is set to restrict consumption and availability of junk food in schools. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued draft guidelines on availability of wholesome and nutritious food in schools to control junk food consumption among children. (Official PDF Here)

Under the draft guidelines, which were first submitted to the court last year, food high in fat, salt or sugar will not be sold within 50 metres of a school’s premises.(Business Insider)

No Junk Food In Schools Now On

The objective of releasing this document is to provide wholesome, nutritional, hygienic and safe healthy food to the students across the 14 lakh schools in India. The lack of availability of balanced diet, nutritional food, awareness about food safety coupled with lack of physical activity among the school kids is the main central cause of many health related issues among school kids.

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A healthy lifestyle is cornerstone of good health, physical fitness, energy and reduced risk for disease. It is based on the choices one makes about his or her daily habits. Good nutrition, daily exercise and adequate sleep are the foundations for continuing health lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes diet based on balance, variety and moderation coupled with regular physical activity commensurate with one’s age, gender and body constitution. As  per  “Dietary Guidelines  for  Indians,  2011”   by National  Institute  of  Nutrition  (NIN),  a balanced diet is one which provides all nutrients in required amounts and proper proportions. It should provide around 50-60% of total calories from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates, about 10-15% from proteins and 20-30% from both visible and invisible fat. In addition, it should provide other non-nutrients such as dietary fibre, antioxidants, which bestow positive health benefits.

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Childhood  obesity

Childhood  obesity  is one  of  the  most  serious  public  health challenges  of the  21st  century. Overweight children are likely to become obese adults. As per WHO, about 44% of the diabetes burden and  23%  of  the  CYD  burden  is attributable to  overweight  and  obesity.  Overweight children are more likely than non-overweight children to develop insulin resistance, hyper­ insulinemia, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age, which in turn are associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability”.

Diabetes and pediatric metabolic syndrome

Type  2 diabetes   which  is very  common  in adults  is now  increasingly   being  reported   in children. The  leading  risk factor  for kids  is being  overweight,   often  connected   with an unhealthy  diet  and lack of physical  activity.  According   to a study  done  by  Dr Anoop  Mishra  et alan   post  pubertal Indian  children,   67%  males  with  high  BMI  were  found  to have  insulin  resistance  while  overall prevalence   was  about   22%   in  males   and  36%   in females IS.    As per the Diabetes Atlas 2006 published by the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with diabetes in India is around 40.9 million and is expected to rise to 69.9 million by 2025 unless urgent preventive steps are taken.

Read Also: How safe is our food?

Guidelines Drafted by FSSAI

  1. Restrict  / Limit  the Availability  of most common High Fat Sugar and Salt (HFSS) Foods in Schools and area within 50 meters.
  2. Develop  a  Canteen   Policy  to  provide   Nutritious,   Wholesome  and  Healthy   Food  in Schools.
  3. Regulate  Promotion  of ‘HFSS  Food’ among School Children.
  4. Food  Safety  and  Standards   Authority  of India  should  consider  reviewing  the Labeling Regulations  to enable disclosure  of all Relevant  Information.
  5. Establish  Stringent  Limits for Unhealthy  Ingredients.
  6. Encourage  Physical Activity by School Children.

Watch: How to protect food and make it last longer?

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Author: FRAC Labs

FRAC is NABL accredited, BIS Certified, DPCC and FSSAI Empanelled; our testing scope includes testing of all Foods, Beverages and Environment (air, noise, waste water, hazardous waste).

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