Children spend major part of their day at school so the food in canteens makes a significant contribution to their growth and development. Most canteens offer fried food and fast food such as burgers, chips, soft drinks and confectioneries, containing saturated fat and added sugar. Students who eat from these canteens regularly purchase these greasy ingredients and sugary drinks and gain weight and become obese. Daily intake of wrong types of snacks also leads to poor dental health in formative years. Most of these tuck shops fail to abide by basic rules of hygiene. The school administration does not bother to watch how these canteens are run and what is sold there. The health and education department should conduct extensive checks on all school canteens. Furthermore steps should be taken to make school managements follow a detailed guideline about nutritional value of edibles, synthetic colours, artificial flavours, preservatives and additives used in food and safe storage of meals in school tuck shops.

SIDRA TALHA,

Karachi, December 4.