UGC Junks It Off! Asks College Canteens To Get Rid Of Junk Food

A necessary step or unnecessary parental control?

UGC, University Grants Commission, Junk Food, Healthy Food, BMI, Body Mass Index, Waist-Hip Ratio, Obesity

Healthy food or pleasures of the palate? The University Grants Commission on Thursday released a circular which (though not binding) expects the affiliated colleges to stop serving junk food in their canteens.

The body believes that this step to cut off ‘high on calories and low on nutrients’ food in college canteens will promote a healthy lifestyle and food habits amongst the younger generation thus bringing in control the youth obesity and weight/ health issues. They also aim to create awareness by spreading information on BMI (Body Mass Index), waist-hip ratio along with orientation programmes.

We chose to voice the opinions of the students and here they are:

“I think UGC should not over regulate the student community. It is a sort of parental control that is unwarranted.” - Sharanya Shivraman, ILS, Pune


“I feel it is a good move towards healthy living as canteens will have to substitute junk with something tasty, healthy and easy to eat.” - Vasudha Patil, LAD, Nagpur


“We do take our ‘healthy’ tiffin to our college, however when it comes to hunger pangs during extra activities we rather choose to go for something economic like a 10 bucks Samosa etc. Canteens for us are always about temporary options and quick to eat items.” - Maithilee Deshmukh, YCCE, Nagpur 


“Although the thought behind this move is good, completely banning junk food is a bit impractical. If things like samosa, burgers, sandwiches are banned we are left with very few options. So first items should be introduced and tested, and then changes should be made as per the youths' liking.” - Shrinidhi Deshmukh LAD, Nagpur


“I think it is for our betterment as nowadays our busy schedules do not give us time for workout, so it is better to eat healthy food. All the more there are other joints available for students apart from canteens, so actually we do have a choice.” - Sayee Thomre, Dr. Ambedkar College, Nagpur


“It is promoting a healthy lifestyle but today’s youth knows what is good for them. We’ve already become slightly calorie conscious hence I don’t think a ban is going to help. College canteens are not the only hangout options hence it will drive students away from their own college and take them to joints which provide them junk food.” - Krisha Bole, Ramdeobaba College, Nagpur


 “Well, I don’t find this move would create much impact as students will shift to off-campus joints. Giving the junk food a healthier twist rather sounds a sensible option and so does adding a separate section of healthy food in the menu. Make the students aware and educated to make their own choices, don’t ban it.” - Aditi Agasty, Ramdeobaba College, Nagpur

Title image: dfordelhi

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