The University Grants Commission, in a move aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle among college students, has asked Vice Chancellors of all universities to ban the sale and availability of junk food on campuses.
The University Grants Commission, in a move aimed at promoting a healthier lifestyle among college students, has asked Vice Chancellors of all universities to ban the sale and availability of junk food on campuses. In a notice dated August 21, 2018, the UGC asked various VCs to “ensure strict adherence to the advisory issued in Nov’ 16 for banning junk food in colleges to ‘set new standards for healthy food & reduce obesity levels in Young Learners’.”
This notice has been sent in continuation to a letter dated November 10, 2016, regarding the banning of junk food in university/college campuses and to take action on the points suggested.
It was on November 10, 2016, when UGC wrote to Vice-Chancellors of all the Universities across the country and issued instructions against the availability and sale of junk food in higher educational institutions. The letter stated that “banning junk food in college would set new standards for healthy food and make the students live better, and learn better and also reduce the obesity levels in young learners, thus preventing lifestyle diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight.”
The notice also included a list of necessary actions that the universities were supposed to undertake-
1. To implement measures to sensitize the students on ill effects of junk food.
2. Universities can serve as important data sources on students’ health. Information on markers like body mass index (BMI)/percentage of body weight/waist-hip ratio etc can help in creating awareness among students towards their health.
3. Orientation programs for faculty and staff are conducted on health issues.
4. Wellness clusters should be created under the student’s welfare department where counselling should be done regarding proper nutrition, proper exercise and healthy habits. These wellness clusters can also provide psychological support to the students to prevent and reduce the incidence of obesity in young students.