NCPCR guidelines to restrict junk foods around schools

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IMPHAL, July 13: Acting on a recommendation of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights has instructed the Education(S) department to promote healthy snacks for school children and restricting sale of junk foods in and around schools.

In an office memorandum, the MCPCR chairperson that National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), New Delhi has taken cognizance under section 13(1) (f) and (k) of the CPCR Act, 2005 regarding the consumption of food high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS) or “Junk Food” which is found to be rampant amongst school children leading to many health hazards and diseases viz. type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, chronic inflammation and hyperinsulinemia with a risk of cardiovascular diseases in later life.

The NCPCR observed 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, it said.

The NCPCR has also observed that in this regard, “Food Safety and Standards Authority of India”, FSSAI has framed guidelines on ‘Making Available Wholesome, Nutritious, Safe and Hygienic Food to School Children in India’, it said.

The office memorandum also said the NCPCR has recommended that CBSE should ensure compliance to its circular on “Promotion of Healthy Snacks is strictly adhered to and follow up action on quarterly basis is done regarding the same and that state Education Boards (Non CBSE) should issue a similar circular as CBSE for adhering to the afore- mentioned guidelines framed by FSSAI and a review of compliance of the same be undertaken on quarterly basis.

It said the Education (S) department should issue these instructions to schools to follow the FSSAI Guidelines.

For effecting monitoring of the FSSAI Guidelines in schools of Manipur, the Manipur Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MCPCR) is constituting a team comprising of its Members, Technical Experts and Food Inspectors of the State designated by FSSAI/ State Health department to undertake inspections/ surprise visits of the schools in the state and take appropriate action and subsequently submit the Action Taken Report (ATR) to the NCPCR, New Delhi, it said.

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