Since children’s day is celebrated across India to raise awareness about the rights, education and welfare of children. It is celebrated on 14 th November every year on the birthday of first prime minister of India Pandit Jawaharlal
Nehru, who had boundless love and affection to children and that is why children used to call him ‘Chacha -Nehru’. So along with paying honour to Pandit Nehru, children’s day strives to raise awareness of children’s rights, care and education .Many educational and motivational programs for children are held across India on this day. This day is a reminder that every child deserves education , nurturing and best of everything ,as they are the building blocks of the nation and hence the future of the Nation depends how well they are brought up. In this context I too got an opportunity to provide an essential message to all the stakeholders regarding the consuming of’ Junk- Food’ by our future generations and save them from this serious issue which have trapped our little kids in his net. Before debating, let us know what the meaning is of “junk food”…? The pre-prepared or packaged food that has low nutritional value is called junk-food. Some scholars have defined it, the food that lack nutrients, vitamins and minerals and are high in calories, fats or sugar. This junk food may be available in various forms in the market like chips, noodles, burger, pizza and other cold drinks. Weather the children are in home, playfield or in the school their pockets or bags are always filled with “junk food”. The little kids put a demand in front of their parents that if they would provide this fast food in the name of eatables then they shall proceed to the school. This Junk -food has number of serious effects on their health and education .Some of them are as under: —
1. Obesity:-Junk food is to be associated with obesity, a complex disease that can occur when our child is above a healthy weight for their age and height. due to their high energy content and amount of fat present or free sugar, chemical additives and sodium with presence of low amount of micronutrients and fiber, leads to diabetes ,high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
2. Poor Dental Health: Since fast food contains sugar content which sticks with their teeth and bacteria consumes this sugar and produce acid, which is
responsible for tooth decay because it slowly dissolves the enamel creating holes or cavities in the teeth.
“This day is a reminder that every child deserves education , nurturing and best of everything ,as they are the building blocks of the nation and hence the future of the Nation depends how well they are brought up”.
3. Digestive Disorders: – Due to intake of this processed or junk food the kids often complaints of stomach ache. Also due to low content of fiber ,there are higher risks of digestive problems or disorders like bloating, gases,
acidity or poor appetite.
4. Sleep Disorders: – Research has shown that junk food diet can increase the risk of Insomnia which is also called as sleep disorder. The excessive intake of sugar and caffeine found in many processed snacks and beverages can stimulate the Nervous system making it harder to fall asleep and negatively impacting the overall and duration of quality of sleep.
5. Chronic disease:-It has been found that children who routinely eat junk food are more likely to develop chronic illnesses like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure ,kidney diseases etc.
How To Escape From This Grave Issue: The more we understand it earlier the better it will be for us.
1. Maintain healthy food habits and prefer home made Food: – Give more attention towards fruits vegetables and home made food which not only relinquish them from fast food but also provide them essential nutrients and thus will save them from unfit fast-food and will be free from diseases.
2. Physical activity, sports and games: – Involve and engage the kids into physical activities and choose the game or activity of their choice so that they may remain not only physically fit but do-away them from this hazardous food.
3. Refrain from giving them hard cash:- Since due to love and affection we are providing money to our kids enabling them to buy this unsafe fast food of their choice . Thus stop giving money to your kids.
4. Awareness programmes: – Due to lack of awareness and information parents are freely providing the opportunities to their loved ones to buy this insecure and unhealthy junk-food. Therefore civil society , educators ,NGO’s and teachers should jointly come forward and aware the innocent people
particularly in rural areas.
5. Role of the school: – Since school is the venue where a child spends most of his time, therefore it is the foremost duty of the school to aware massively the
students particularly in morning assembly about the ill-effects of this insalubrious food. The head of the school should stress on this serious issue and should conduct PTMs so that parents fetch the required information and knowledge about the subject.
(Author holds the position of “Master” in J&K School Education Department. The views, opinions and conclusions expressed in this article are those of the author and aren’t necessarily in accord with the views of “Kashmir Horizon”.)