The government-backed food advisory centre Voedingscentrum has welcomed the decision by dozens of primary schools to ban sugary drinks on their premises, saying the measure will help cut obesity among children.
The organisation says pupils in primary schools should be restricted to water and milk with their packed lunches in an effort to boost healthy eating. One school in Dordrecht, where one in three children is overweight, has already taken the ‘drastic step’, the AD says on Tuesday. ‘We are doing nearly all we can to keep a healthy school,’ director Mark van der Sluijs told the AD. ‘Children get fruit and milk during the morning break… but bring sugary drinks for lunch. Not everyone realises it, but those packets of drink are very unhealthy and full of sugar.’
Voedingscentrum spokeswoman Danielle Wolvers said in a statement that if all schools took such a step it would send out an important signal. ‘Children influence each other, so such a rule helps to stimulate healthy behaviour,’ she said. So far, 94 of the country’s 6,700 primary schools have signed up to the Voedingscentrum’s ‘healthy school’ programme, the AD says.