College life and junk food seem to go hand in hand. While few students consciously prefer to take the healthy route, many fall prey to the easy availibility, cheap rates, and luring taste of junk food. To tackle this rising challenge, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has directed the vice-chancellors of universities across the country to stop serving junk food in their canteens.
https://www.facebook.com/Assam-University-Silchar-133161536712032/This directive has made Assam universities sit up and take notice of this issue. As a result, in the near future, unhealthy food will soon be taken off the menus in university and college campuses.
“The directive to ban junk food has been issued after experts gave the matter due consideration. We will immediately convene a meeting regarding this soon,” said Gauhati University (GU) registrar Suresh Kumar Nath on Friday.
The Problems Faced By The Students, Faculty, And Canteens
The lack of a proper definition of junk food has left people confused. Some students say that food items accepted and served in restaurants outside the campus should also be on the menus of college and university canteens. While the Cotton College State University vice-chancellor, DJ Saikia, feels that the focus should be on healthy food.
Many people – students, vice-chancellors and profesors alike – feel that the problem is not the content of the menu but rather how the food is prepared.
According to university officials, presently very few students carry their own lunch, with the masses preferring to eat at the canteens instead. But the canteens tend to prepare the food hours before it’s served as they don’t have the manpower to make fresh food and serve it to the students simultaneously.
While the commission has directed the vice-chancellors to implement measures to sensitise students’ community about the ill effects of junk food, many students found the UGC circular amusing.
Reacting to the UGC circular, Tezpur University (TU) registrar, Biren Das, said that the TU authority imposed restrictions on junk food in the university canteens a while ago, but the main challenge faced was to stop students from eating junk food outside the campus.
The Benefits of the Ban On Junk Food
“Banning junk food in colleges will 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,” said UGC secretary Jaspal S Sandhu in the letter to vice-chancellors of the universities.
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