Though the director general of school education (DGSE) has issued a letter to all school authorities in the district restricting the sale of junk food in and around the schools, yet junk food continues to be sold opening and without any in and around schools.
The letter says that there should not be any canteen or shop inside or around the school where junk food is available and students should be asked to bring balanced food from home. It further states that food sold at school canteens and shops outside the school should be got regularly checked by the health officials. However, students can be seen swarming around the junk food shops or carts here.
"The move to ban the sale of junk food inside and outside schools is welcome as students get addicted to such junk food, which leads to many health problems later on. But the authorities must ensure that no such food is sold inside the schools and food selling around should be regularly examined by the health officials to ensure its quality," said Gurmeet Singh, a resident of Kotkapura.
"Many private schools have allowed opening of canteens on their premises and most of them sell only junk food, which is the choice of most of the students or children. Such canteens inside private schools need to be restricted from selling junk food to school children," said Mohar Singh, a resident of Sirsari village.
But the many Rehris selling fired food surrounded always by the school students just at the gate of the government Balbir senior secondary school Faridkot daily tell a different tale of how the letter of the DGSC is being followed in spirit.
What is junk food?
Food that is of little nutritional value and often high in fat, sugar, salt, and calories. Junk foods typically contain high levels of calories from sugar or fat with little protein, vitamins or minerals. Foods commonly considered junk include salted snack foods, gum, candy, sweet desserts, fried fast food, and sugary carbonated beverages. Many foods such as hamburgers, pizza, and tacos can be considered either healthy or junk food depending on their ingredients and preparation methods (Wikipedia)
Dr Chander Sekhar, a medical specialist from civil hospital, Faridkot, said that regular eating of junk food may lead to multiple problems. "It may lead to acidity, deficiency of vitamins and other minerals as junk food is always deficient of these. Regular use of it leads to obesity in children and constipation as well because it is not much fibrous. Ultimately, it affects the overall health of the children," he added.