CHUCK THE JUNK
This is with reference to the editorial “Junk games and schoolchildren” (April 16-30, 2014). Sunita Narain is right in observing that children are not the best judge of their food. It depends on us adults how much care we take to ensure that our children eat only healthy food. Call it the McDonald’s effect or the Maggi effect, junk food like burgers, French fries, soft drinks and instant noodles have become a favourite among children the world over. To make matters worse, fast food outlets are springing up in almost every neighbourhood. While Western countries have already initiated steps to check this evil—taxing junk food, banning it in schools and restricting its advertisement— India is yet to formulate stringent guidelines. To star t with, the government should clearly define junk food—“how much of sugar or fat or salt in food is unhealthy”. Besides imposing tax on junk food, the government should prohibit its sale in and around schools and colleges. Most importantly, it should launch a rigourous campaign to educate the youth and parents about the dangers of junk food and to promote healthy eating.