New guidelines tackle student obesity

By Zhang Kun (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-09-26 08:56

SHANGHAI -- New guidelines on student nutrition will be introduced to combat problems such as obesity, a public health commission forum here said on Monday.

The guidelines are already being tried out at schools in Nanhui and Jing'an districts and will be implemented city-wide from next year.

The commission members said eating potato chips and foreign fast foods was causing students to become overweight and suffer from calcium deficiencies.

It also plans to give school canteen personnel instruction on dietary needs, make "nutrition corners" on campuses and hand out information on nutrition and the harmful effects of junk food. Correspondence with students and holding interviews with parents are also planned.

The commission will require every school to hire a nutritionist and improve food coordination and cooking processes.

"Students tend to like hamburgers, French fries and other foods that are high in calories and fat," said Shi Huijing from the pediatric department of the public health school at Fudan University.

"They don't like vegetables or fruits and don't eat sufficient staple foods," Shi said.

The school has been asked to make a lunch menu for students of different ages, in order to provide guidelines for schools and lunchbox companies.

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