Shastry V. Mallady

Government initiative to protect students' health

MADURAI: In a move to check diet-related diseases among students, the State Government has instructed schools, colleges and universities to withdraw junk food from their canteens.The order was issued to educational institutions on Monday as part of a coordinated approach by the Health and Education Departments in the State following guidelines from the Union Health Ministry. Officials at the Madurai Kamaraj University told The Hindu on Wednesday that they would implement the order in the university canteen and in affiliated colleges.

There was a trend among students to go in for food and drinks with no vitamins or mineral value, the communication said, and asked canteens in educational institutions to discourage junk food.

"There are studies to indicate a positive correlation between consumption of food with empty calories like carbonated drinks and chronic degenerative diseases such as hyper tension, obesity, cardio vascular problems and diabetes," the order said.

Hence, the Government had advised the authorities to check the consumption of pizzas, fried chips, hot dogs, and carbonated drinks.

MKU registrar S. Shanmugiah said the varsity had written to colleges to abide by the order.