The State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) today asked the Uttarakhand government to ban the sale of junk food within 200 metres of schools. In a letter to Chief Secretary S Ramaswamy, SCPCR Chairman Yogendra Khanduri spoke on the harmful effects of junk food and asked him to ensure its sale was banned within 200 metres of schools. He also asked the chief secretary to ban school and hostels canteens from selling junk food. “Consumption of junk food does not just lead to obesity among children, but can also cause… high blood pressure and diabetes,” Khanduri said.
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The ban will be implemented keeping in mind the recommendations of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, he said. Khanduri said a panel constituted under the Hyderabad- based National Institute of Nutrition by the Union Ministry of Women and Child Development had also recommended a ban on sale of junk food to school children. “Now that schools have reopened after the summer vacations, you (the government) should strictly implement an ‘effective’ ban on sale of junk food around them and apprise the Commission on actions taken in the interest of children,” the SCPCR chairman said.