Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nasi Lemak 2x Seminggu Di Kantin Sekolah

Healthier school canteen food next year

KUALA LUMPUR: Beginning next year, students will have healthier food with adequate calories at school canteens.

Deputy Education Minister Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong said the new canteen food guidelines were aimed at helping reduce the obesity rate among young Malaysians.
"The ministry is in the midst of finalising the guidelines. Once it is done, we will send out the circular to schools by this month," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
He explained that the guidelines would display the types of food and calories needed on a daily basis by each age group in the school canteen menus for students to choose from.
The new guidelines follows recommendations from the Health Ministry.
"We want to educate, rather than enforce. We see this as a solution for greater awareness on healthy eating habits and reducing obesity among schoolchildren."
Wee added that teachers, canteen operators and the parents-teacher associations (PTA) would be required to follow the guidelines.
"We will also send our officers to schools to evaluate the progress of student's understanding on proper eating habits."
Wee said both ministries would keep tabs to monitor the effectiveness of the new system.
"The new guidelines are different from previous effort, as students would be educated on healthy eating habits instead of being refrained from eating unhealthy food."
He said this would help create a greater awareness on healthy eating habits and to stop the rising obesity rate among schoolchildren.
"In the long run students would be encouraged not only to eat right during recess, but also bring the habit back home."
Wee also explained that students' Body Mass Index would be calculated twice a year to check on obesity among schoolchildren.
Earlier, there were reports on suggestions to restrict food items sold at school canteens but the ministry decided against it.
These included nasi lemak, which was recommended to be sold only twice in a week.
"Any food can be unhealthy. It is not about the frequency, but how much calories they take and how much of that is burnt."
He added that canteen operators would still have to follow other rules to not sell jeruk (preserved fruits) or other junk food items.
The existing guidelines were last revised in 2008.

Read more: Healthier school canteen food next year - General - New Straits Times

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