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NZ: Schools to sell healthy food

The news that schools will soon have to promote healthy food and nutrition for students, and sell mostly healthy options is very welcome.

One of FOE’s goals has always been to have healthy food sold in schools. Most people agree. Our 2005 poll found that 84 percent of those surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that unhealthy food and drink products should not be sold in school canteens and vending machines.

Our submission to the Health Select Committee Inquiry into Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes made our reasons clear:

Unhealthy foods should not be sold to children in or by schools. First, parents have a right to expect that when their children are at school they are not exposed to unhealthy products. And second, a key part of changing children’s and parents’ attitudes about unhealthy foods is the complete disassociation of these foods from schools. This means that unhealthy foods should not be sold in schools or promoted in any way in or by schools.

New guidelines

In a change to the the Ministry of Eduction’s National Administration Guidelines, from June next year boards of trustees will be required to:

  • promote healthy food and nutrition for all students
  • where food and beverages are sold on school premises, make only healthy options available.

ERO will assess schools to see if they have a food policy in place and whether it is working.

School food and beverage guidelines will be released later in the year by the Ministry of Health. They will set out the food and beverages that can be offered everyday, sometimes and occasionally.

Education Minister Steve Maharey has confirmed that the guidelines apply only for food sold at school – not to fundraisers or galas.

Editorial: Tuck shops good place to fight fat

“It is reasonable to expect schools to set an example of healthy eating for all of society. They should offer food and drink that are affordable and agreeable, as well as nutritious.”

Read more: NZ Herald, 11 June 2007

Editorial: Taking pies off the menu will not answer obesity challenge

Read more: Herald on Sunday, 17 June 2007

Ban on Unhealthy Food in Schools

Read more: NZPA / NZ Herald, 11 June 2007

Changes to National Guidelines a good thing

OAC is very supportive of the changes and gives its reasons, including:

“The many schools which have already taken poor quality food out of the school canteen, almost without fail, say the pupils are easier to teach, have better concentration and can complete their school work more successfully.”

Read more: Press release, Obesity Action Coalition / Scoop

School food shake-up big win for kids Green Party

The Green Party has conducted a tuck shop survey each year over the past three years. The latest survey found that a majority of school canteens are still selling a staple diet of unhealthy food.

Health spokesperson, Sue Kedgley said, “Clearly schools were not making the change voluntarily, so I believe amending the National Administrative Guidelines to make it a requirement on schools was the next step. If we are to improve the health and well-being of New Zealanders, it’s essential we start with children, teach them good eating habits and encourage them to make healthy food choices.”

Read more: Press release, Green Party

Schools Are No Place For Brain Dead Food & Drinks

Read more: Press release, Quality Public Education Coalition / Scoop

Published on June 12, 2007 in New Zealand news