New Delhi: University Grants Commission (UGC) has asked all central varsities to take steps to ban the availability of junk food on their campuses. In a letter to all vice chancellors, UGC secretary Jaspal S. Sandhu said that the HRD ministry has desired to issue instructions against availability and sale of junk food in Higher Educational Institutions.
“Banning junk food in colleges would set new standards for healthy food habits and make the students live better. It will also reduce the obesity levels in young learners, thus preventing lifestyle diseases which have a direct link with excessive weight,” the UGC official said.
He said that all central varsities should implement measures to sensitise the students on ill effects of junk food. The UGC letter added that universities can serve as important data sources on student’s health.
Information on markers like BMl, percentage of body weight, waist-hip ratio, etc can help in creating awareness among students towards their health, the UGC letter said.
It added that orientation programmes for faculty and staff be conducted on health issues. Wellness clusters should be created under the Students Welfare Department. At these centres counselling should be done regarding proper nutrition, proper exercise and healthy habits, the letter informed.
“You are, therefore, requested that you may take necessary actions on the above points in your esteemed university and also circulate the instructions to all the colleges affiliated to your university,” the UGC letter said....