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NZ: Junking our kids’ futures

Green Party MP Sue Kedgley expresses her frustration at the removal of the school food guidelines that stipulated that schools should sell only healthy food:

“The new school food guidelines were working well, by all accounts, and schools were slowly improving the quality of food that was sold in school canteens. Most schools had accepted that they had a responsibility to try to encourage healthy, rather than unhealthy, eating, amongst children in their care.

And once the guidelines became mandatory, schools that had been dragging their feet on the issue of school food, had begun to take positive steps to improve the quality of food in school canteens.

But then, out of the blue, and without any evidence or justification, the Minister of Education, Anne Tolley, threw out the school food guidelines earlier this year, along with the requirement to sell healthy food in schools.

Amazingly, Official Information papers reveal that she did this without first consulting with school principals, or the Ministry of Health, which had spent four years and $4.5 million developing the guidelines and resources to support schools to implement the guidelines.

This means it’s now open slather in school tuck shops, and schools are free to sell as much junk food as they like to school children–even if it will contribute to rotting teeth, type 2 diabetes, poor behaviour, poor learning and obesity amongst our children.”

Education officials warned the Minister about the link between poor diet and poor learning, before she made her decision to throw out the guidelines.

Read more
: Green Party website, 10 Dec 2009

Published on December 13, 2009 in New Zealand news,School food