Maneka Gandhi plans ban junk food in schools across the country
New Delhi: To improve nutrition among school-going children, Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi plans to propose a ban on unhealthy or `junk` food in school canteens across the country. The objective is to "make available good quality, safe food to students in school canteens", said officials from the WCD Ministry.
"The idea is also to specify what constitutes `junk` food and making children aware why they are harmful," said an official.
Gandhi plans to discuss the matter with the Health and Human Resource Development (HRD) ministries. The mid-day meal scheme comes under the HRD ministry.
The health ministry?s Food Safety and Security of India (FSSAI) is already working on guidelines proposing healthy food on school premises.
The Delhi High Court has also been studying into the regulation of sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around school premises in the country.
The court is hearing the PIL filed by Uday Foundation seeking an immediate ban on junk food and carbonated drinks in all unaided and private schools.
The NGO has also sought a direction to initiate measures to discourage availability of fast food within 500 yards of schools in Delhi, apart from a canteen policy.
The court has also been asking FSSAI to come out with comprehensive guidelines for regulating sale of junk food and aerated drinks in and around school premises in the country.
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