The twin problems of underweight and overweight trouble Indian children. Do you think the latest FSSAI regulations on fast food will address the problem of child malnutrition in the country? Discuss. (15 Marks)

Mentors Comments:

  • 1. Discuss the extent of underweight and obesity in India, especially in the context of the Hunger Index.
  • 2. What are the reasons for this state of malnutrition?
  • 3. Discuss FSSAI guidelines and analyze their relevance.
  • 4. What more needs to be done regarding stunting as well as obesity among children

Answer:

India’s record of high economic growth over the past decade has not transformed the nutritional status of its population to the extent necessary. FSSAI has notified a draft regulation aimed at changing dietary habits.

Regulations:

    • Ban on advertising and sales – It prohibits the sale and advertisement of food rich in fat, sugar, and salt to schoolchildren inside the school premises and within 50 m around it.
    • Promote a balanced diet – It requires schools to simultaneously encourage and promote a safe and balanced diet.
    • Ban on unhealthy foods – To shield the children from consuming unhealthy food items and snacks, FSSAI prohibits food companies that manufacture such items from advertising or offering such foods in school premises and within 50 m of the campus.
    • No branding – Food companies are prohibited from using their logos, brand names and product names on books and other educational materials, as well as on school property such as buildings, buses, and athletic fields. 
    • Health recommendations – The agency recommends the use of a combination of whole grains, milk, eggs, and millets.
    • Food products – It also listed a set of general guidelines for the selection of food products that can be offered in schools.

Challenges

    • Enforcement – The challenge will be in enforcement, in preventing the sale and promotion of unhealthy food near schools. 
    • Despite the sale and advertisement of tobacco products within 100 yards of a school being prohibited, the violation is more the norm than the exception. Shops that sell tobacco products very often also sell many of the packaged unhealthy foods.
    • Inculcating habits – inculcating healthy eating habits starts at home. 

Way Forward:

    • Schools and parents should ensure children get adequate physical activity.
    • A combination of healthy food and regular physical activity will go a long way in bringing up healthy children.
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7 months ago

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7 months ago
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7 months ago
Reply to  Khus Arya

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