Healthy India

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Subject: Regarding Providing Healthy Food, Snacks and Drinks in canteens of   Government  Institutions Canteens with the advice of Dieticians. Request to ban Fried items of Refined flour in canteens of govt. institutions immediately.


I would like to bring your kind attention towards the fact that most of the food items that are being sold at the canteens of Government institutions such as Govt. departments, Boards, Corporations, hospitals, colleges, universities etc.  are mostly fried or either canned, packed, processed items or fast food. The drinks and beverages provided are also not healthy and nutritious.  This is seriously affecting the health of the employees and people visiting these offices. The people and employees  are supposed to pay for these items but still nutritious food and drinks are not provided in these canteens. At present the total Govt. employees is more than 40 million people and still more is the number of students in Govt. Colleges, Universities, IITs, NITs, ITIs  etc. These institutions’ canteen must sell nutritious and healthy food with the guidance of dietician such as, fresh fruit salad, fruit yogurt, fruit, fresh fruit juices (not only the artificial packed juices), popcorn, muffins, plain milk, vegetable wraps, etc.

Nowadays, many professionals & office-goers don’t bother to carry their share of homemade food from their houses. With the per capita income increasing in most of the urban families, most members of the family take up jobs and are in the pursuit of building their careers. Home cooking has taken a back seat in almost all the urban households. People prefer eating their meals from canteens. The importance of health and nutrition have been cast aside in the hunt for convenience. Hence, its difficult to find govt. office canteens today which provide healthy snacks & meals such as boiled, steamed, baked or fresh and natural eatables and nutritious drinks.

Meals served in the cafeteria often is doused in oil or fat. Most often snack options are often opted from the office canteen which may mainly be any junk food, Sweets or fried food that too of refined flour i.e. maida.  For example Samosas, Kachoris, Refined flour Biscuits, Amartis, Burfi etc. Employees prefer to take a break from work to walk up the cafeteria and back. "If they want a change from staring at the computer, then they are seen sipping a cola or having a samosa." These food and Snacks affect their Performance As Well!

The foods employees munch in between main meals plays a vital role in regulating our metabolism through the day. Going hungry in between main meals through the day is not healthy in the long run. On the other extreme, munching on junk foods as in between snacks may not solve the problem either. It can cause the same harm, if not worse. These healthy snacks should basically contain minimum refined sugar & fats, additives & preservatives and more of natural foods. The more we resort to natural foods as our mini meals, the more we can ensure better health for ourselves in the future.

Consuming sugar, fat-rich snacks to munch on can cause mood crashes after a short period of time. This is because sugar rich foods causes a sudden spike in blood sugars which gives the temporary alertness & hunger-satiating feeling. But, later, after a lapse of 1-2 hours, the hunger pangs can increase craving for more sugar rich foods. This leads us into a chain of hankering for & binging into more calorie dense foods. Cheese, butter, cream, in addition to the Indian ghee and oil, are a dangerous mix.

These foods can also cause sluggishness & lethargy later when their spike effect wears off. These factors can result in overall productivity & performance at our workplace, due to decreased attention & drowsiness which can often follow after a calorie dense snack or meal.

Nobody in the government is considering the fact that four out of 10 leading causes of death are food-borne. Employers are not too concerned about a healthy diet plan and equate good food with the quality and richness of food, which proves very unhealthy in the medium and long-term.

I am hopeful your good self will definitely look into the problem and instruct the officers to include healthy, nutritious items in the canteen menu.