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Could there be a future ban on vending machines in schools

Larkmead_School,_Abingdon,_Oxfordshire

Across Europe there appears to be a consensus of opinion as to the suitability of where and, more importantly, where not to place vending machines that sell high sugar content soft drinks. Top of the list of where not to place these machines will in future be schools right across the European Union. The industry body UNESDA has decided on a number of rules and regulations that will be implemented to try and reduce the continents growing obesity problem, with many targeting the soft drinks industry as one of the main culprits. This move will affect over 50,000 schools and 40 million young people in all 28 EU member states including the United Kingdom.

The new rules will mean that no high sugar soft drinks will be allowed to be sold in primary schools, although zero/reduced calorie drinks will still be permitted. The vending machines themselves will be free of any branding. It is hoped that this policy will encourage school children across Europe to make, better, more informed food and drink choices than at present. Sadly it does not prevent the same children rushing to a corner store or supermarket immediately after leaving the school gates and buying whatever they like.

The new policy will take time to bed in and will require a substantial shift in both education and nutrition knowledge amongst all sectors of the community. Quick, easy and accessible food and drink is also usually cheaper and, seemingly, tastier, how we teach our children these essential life skills is just as important as to which machine they turn for their treats and sweets.

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