Punjab Food Authority to ban cola for childrenA few days after the Punjab Food Authority has imposed a ban on carbonated drinks in public and private school, it is considering drawing an age restriction for drinking cola.

PFA Director General Noorul Amin Mengal while talking to The Express Tribune revealed that the carbonated drinks are not good for the physical and mental health of growing children. He said PFA would issue guidelines to food outlets not to provide underage kids with carbonated drinks. “We have to protect our future,” he stressed.

The decision, to ban cola and other carbonated drinks in schools, was aimed at improving the health of children across the province. It will be implemented after the end of summer vacations where the authority will replace these drinks with healthier alternatives including juices and milk.

Considering the adverse consequences of these sugary beverages, PFA wants to ban the sale of carbonated beverages to anyone under 18 years of age. This is a commendable move which will enable the children to choose a healthy lifestyle.

According to the approved guidelines of the Punjab government, food has been placed in three categories; red, yellow and green. The red category includes all the food items that should not be available in school canteens:

  • Carbonated drinks
  • Most canned items
  • Sweets
  • Toffees
  • Candies
  • Chocolate

The yellow category involves food items that should be served in small quantities and would be displayed less prominently:

  • tea
  • coffee
  • packed fruit juices
  • biscuit
  • ice creams
  • naan
  • shawarma
  • paratha rolls
  • patties
  • nuggets
  • French fries
  • samosas
  • pizzas
  • burgers

The green category includes recommended food items:

  • seasonal fruits
  • fresh fruit juices
  • fruit chats
  • chana chats
  • pastas
  • sandwiches rice,
  •  rice
  •  flavored and plain milk milkshakes, lassi,
  • milkshakes
  • lassi flavored
  • flavored yogurts
  • eggs
  • nuts