The UGC (University Grants Commission) has asked college canteens to stop serving junk food and serve more healthy food. We’re silently nodding our heads at this request.
First Things First
The circular the UGC issued on the 10th of November states that a ban on junk food will set new standards for healthy food so that the students live better, and learn better. It may also reduce obesity levels, thus preventing lifestyle diseases that have a direct link to excessive weight.
The circular does not define what ‘junk food’ constitutes according to the UGC, but circulars by other boards of education like the CBSE refer to it as ‘items that are high in calories, but low in nutrients.’
Colleges have been asked to display information on markers like body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio, etc. The staff and the students have been recommended orientation programs so as to spread the information to the youth as soon as possible. The students have also been asked to form clusters among themselves so they can counsel each other about healthy living habits.
On Initial Reactions
Students, however, find this circular amusing. They feel that in this day and age, everyone is aware of the implications of consuming junk food, especially since we’re taught about it all through school. The more the restrictions, the higher are the chances of students doing just the opposite. Students say that they will opt for food from the many small eateries that exist outside the college premises, which may not even be clean, lest they stop getting the food that they like in their college canteens. If nothing else, at least college canteens serve hygienic food.
Of course, many colleges have given a thumbs up to this initiative by the UGC, while others feel that it wouldn’t make much of a difference. Creating awareness about healthy eating through creatives can easily be implemented and can help students understand the problem. But, simply banning junk food from college canteens will not help unless the students themselves practice self-restraint and actively try to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
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This article is part of the EatTreat campaign to eat better and live more consciously. We are creating the #EatEffect. Are you with us? #GreenIsTheNewBlack. Come see us at our event – The Great Winter Picnic.