The Nagaland Board of School Education (NBSE) Kohima has directed all schools in the state to ensure that no junk food are sold within a radius of 200 meters of the school compound.
Consumption of foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), popularly known as junk food, is associated with increased risk of certain diseases such as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, chronic inflammation and hyperinsulinemia with a risk of cardiovascular diseases in later life, stated NBSE Chairman Asano Sekhose in an official notification here yesterday.
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.
In this context, the NBSE said that the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) constituted working group has submitted its report on addressing consumption of HFSS foods and promotion of healthy snacks in schools of India.
The recommendations made through the report have direct bearing on schools and therefore, NBSE advised all schools in the state to implement it.
The schools have been asked to take measures to ensure that the canteens do not cater any HFSS food such as chips, fried foods, soft drinks, etc and also control the sale of HFSS foods within a radius of 200 meters from the school compound.
The schools have been directed to constitute a School Canteen Management Committee comprising of 7-10 members, including the teachers, parents, students and school canteen operators and that the committee shall be solely responsible for providing safe food to the school children.
Schools are to organise awareness programmes like celebration of Nutrition Week from September 1 to 7 for nutritious food and avoidance of HFSS foods.
The schools are also to impart education on quality nutrition and integration of physical activities during the school hours, besides teaching students about the importance of a healthy active lifestyle and following healthy eating habits.
The NBSE Chairpersons also notified on creating a set of activities such as debate on food safety, competitions for senior students on topics related to hygiene and sanitation, advantages of healthy lifestyle options.
Making children aware about obesity, HFSS foods and importance of physical activity, was also recommended.
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The NBSE has also suggested that schools may undertake
community outreach programme to disseminate the messages related to health to the community members and to get their support by organising interactions between school students and neighbourhood communities.
Schools have also been asked to regularly monitor the height, weight and body mass index (BMI) for all students and based on their trajectory provide individualized counselling. Inspection of lunch boxes to minimize the consumption of unhealthy foods may be done by the schools, she said.
The NBSE further said that schools should also promote nutrition and health awareness through
Co-Scholastic/Co-Curricular activities classes and also through tools like posters, collage and other visual aids.
All schools have been requested to take necessary measures to sensitise and orient students about healthy eating habits as suggested above, as part of compulsory co-curricular activities and also under Health and Physical Education Subject.