Bay of Plenty schools are cracking down on fizzy and caffeine-based drinks to help lower obesity, diabetes and tooth decay risks.
All Bay of Plenty primary and intermediate schools have banned sugary drinks, but many secondary schools have far to go.
“Having just one or two sugary drinks a day may increase a child’s risk of being overweight by 50 per cent,” says Medical Officer of Health Dr Neil de Wet.
A recent survey conducted by Toi Te Ora Public Health Service shows that 46 per cent of schools in Bay of Plenty do not sell sugary drinks, such as sugary fizzy drinks, fruit juice and flavoured milk.
However, over 60 per cent of secondary schools continue to sell these drinks.
Allandale School Principal Drew Manning says the school are aware of these risk and have adopted a water only policy to ensure no sugary drinks are sold, brought or offered at school.
“Water is our drink of choice. Drink sachets, fizzy drinks and caffeine-based drinks are not welcome here.”
Fairhaven School in Te Puke slowly introduced the ban by installing water coolers in each classroom block and removing sugary drinks from their lunch menu.
Edgecumbe College has also removed almost all sugary drinks from their canteen and now offer low-cost bottled water, as well as promoting their drinking fountains.
“With the availability of sugary drinks typically increasing as students move up levels of schooling, it is great to see Edgecumbe College taking a lead to make these healthy changes,” says Neil.