Taking a serious view of increasing obesity among children, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights has asked state governments to ban junk food and carbonated drinks in schools.
The commission has issued guidelines to all states to give directions to schools, both state-run and private, to ensure that no junk food or carbonated drinks are served in their canteens.
It has also asked state governments to prepare nutritional standards for children and to tell schools to serve food according to these norms.
"The food should be freshly prepared and be in keeping with local tastes and preferences," said Commission Member Sandhya Bajaj.
She said the commission has recommended that a special tax be imposed on junk food, and that carbonated drinks be replaced with healthy beverages like milk and fruit juices.
The commission has recommended that schools should also teach students what comprises nutritional food. "We felt the need to issue the guidelines in light of recent studies showing that obesity was on the rise among school children," Bajaj said.