LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – Gov. Nestor B. Fongwan ordered the Division of Schools to immediately ban the sale of junk foods, carbonated and energy drinks in all canteens of public schools in the province as one of the major interventions to ensure the availability of healthy foods for the children.
The local chief executive recently issued the directive after it came to his attention that there is a rapid increase in food-related illnesses among children and students which are primarily caused by the availability of junk foods, carbonated and energy drinks in all school canteens provincewide.
“We cannot afford to compromise the health of our children because they will be the next generations who will be following out footsteps. We cannot afford to have sickly future leaders because their decision-making will surely be affected,” Fongwan said.
The governor underscored the aggressive advertising of junk foods, carbonated and energy drinks have convinced children and students to patronize the eating and drinking of the said health compromising items, thus, concerned agencies and local governments must be able to formulate appropriate strategies on how to negate the impression that such kinds of food and drinks are good for them.
He cited the case of a young student who was supposed to undergo hemodialysis treatment because of the advance stage of his kidney ailment but his parents could not afford to sustain his expensive medication, thus, the provincial government was about to spend for the treatment.
However, Fongwan disclosed that the child died the day when he was about to start his scheduled dialysis treatment, thus, it was unfortunate for the family to have lost a potential bread winner in the future.
When he investigated the victim’s father, Fongwan discovered that because of poverty, the child had to bring with him rice in school and that the small amount of money he had in his pocket had to be used to supposedly buy his viand.
According to him, it came to the attention of his parents that the victim had been buying a popular brand of energy drink for his viand that eventually caused his kidneys to collapse warranting the need for him to undergo dialysis treatment but he unfortunately died.
The local chief executive cited the alarming cases of kidney patients seeking medical assistance from concerned government agencies and local governments should now be a cause for concern among local officials and one of the immediate remedies is to remove the displays of junk foods, carbonated and energy drinks from the reach of the children, thus, the banning of the sale of such kinds of food in school canteens among others.
He added parents should also start teaching their children not to patronize junk foods, carbonated and energy drinks even if they are within their reach because of their evident serious negative effects to their health that could compromise their bright future.
By Dexter A. See