Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 09/02/2014. Tags: Parenting Teachers
The Sunday Times has today (9/2/14) announced that it is launching a campaign to have unhealthy foods banned from vending machines and tuck shops in secondary schools in Ireland
. According to the paper, the aim of their campaign is to encourage principals to “junk the junk and replace fatty, sugary and salty products with fresh and nutritious alternatives."
The Sunday Times refers to a survey carried out by the Department of Education which says that of 325 secondary schools surveyed, 30% sell fizzy drinks and confectionery through vending machines or tuck shops. One of the main reasons that secondary schools are reluctant to remove vending machines is that they cannot do without the revenue that they earn from food and drink sales. Vending machines are usually installed free of charge and according to the Sunday Times, schools are paid between €3500 and €4,000 each year by companies who supply and stock them.
The paper advises that when the issue was previously raised with the Education Minister, Ruairi Quinn, he responded that he “cannot dictate” what schools sell through vending machines but “he believed he could work with them to include healthy alternatives". The paper quotes Minister Quinn as agreeing that machines were an important revenue stream for some schools and “would not interfere with that”.
The Sunday Times believes however it is possible to junk the junk and points out that sweet and fatty foods have been banned from schools in the United Kingdom with Northern Ireland swapping them for smoothies, water and fresh fruit in 2007.
So what’s your view – will you support the Sunday Times campaign to have unhealthy foods banned from vending machines and tuck shops in secondary schools in Ireland?