Sambhavna Trust has launched a book, “Ulat Palat (Upside Down)”, focusing on the environmental and health hazards of packaged snacks for children on World Environment Day.
On the occasion of “World Environment Day” Sambhavna Trust Clinic launched “Ulat Palat”, a book for children on the environmental and health hazards of packaged snacks. Children from the communities where the groundwater is contaminated by Union Carbide’s industrial waste as well as members of the Clinic were present at the launching of the book.
Through pictures and words, the 20 page book describes the toxic chemicals present in the material in which processed snacks are packaged. It also talks about the production of extremely poisonous chemicals when the empty packets are burnt. Other environmental impacts of these packets are floods in cities due to choking of sewers, deaths of cows and contamination of soil and ground water when they are buried.
The book goes on to describe the adverse health effects of the processed snacks that children are attracted to on a wide scale. It talks about obesity, heart diseases, allergies and even cancers that could be caused due to the artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, sweeteners, and other additives contained in the processed snacks.
When the book is turned upside down the reader gets a sense of the healthier alternatives to consuming packaged snacks. Hence the name Ulat Palat which means upside down. Alternatives include recipes for salads and snacks that are easy enough to be made by a ten year old at home.
Masarrat Jahan, Community health worker at Sambhavna Trust Clinic, addressed reporters at the launch – “Our main aim through this book is to create awareness among children and especially the school going children about the harmful impacts of packaged snacks. They should realize what harmful chemicals they are consuming and the truth behind the attractive packaged food.”
Adding to her words Dr. Amita Gupta (In charge of the pathology laboratory at Sambhavna Trust Clinic) has further explained about the possible health hazards of packaged snacks. Members of the Sambhavna Trust Clinic appealed to parents and teachers to pay special attention to making children aware of the harmful impact of packaged snacks on their own health as well as the health of the planet. They said that given the aggressive advertisement of harmful processed foods there was a great need for parents to rise up to the challenge of finding healthier and tastier alternatives for children.
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