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    Unhealthy food in schools

    Much of the food on sale in schools is unhealthy a Green Party survey has found. Food was typically loaded with fat and sugar and low in nutrients.

    The staple foods on offer in most of the 50 primary and secondary schools surveyed were pies, hot dogs, sausage rolls, chips, biscuits, donuts, cakes and chocolate. Most did not include fruit on the menu and there was not even a roll or a sandwich on the menu in 22 percent of the schools surveyed. A not atypical lunch of a pie, chips, a biscuit and a fizzy drink is likely to contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of fat and 20 teaspoons of sugar.

    The Safe Food Campaign endorses the school food campaign of the Green Party which aims to get the Education Minister to change the National Educational Goals and National Administration Guidelines so that schools develop a policy that only healthy food and drink can be sold, that healthy eating habits are developed and they do not contribute to obesity, diabetes or dental decay. The campaign encourages parents to send e-cards or postcards to the Minister requesting this.

    While some schools have already introduced positive changes, it is now time all schools followed suit, as Sue Kedgley, Green Party Health Spokesperson observed. Meanwhile, in the US and Canada, an increasing number of schools have adopted a policy of banning junk food and introducing organic food in their cafeterias. At Lincoln Elementary, for example, the school's organic salad bar has proven so popular - and surprisingly economical - that all Olympia grade schools now have one.

    From www.greens.org.nz/campaigns/schoolfood 10 May 05, www.organicconsumers.org/sos.htm


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