Taiwan moving to ban sugary beverages in schools

2017/10/08 19:25:44 fontsize-small fontsize-default fontsize-big
Image taken from Pixabay

Image taken from Pixabay

Taipei, Oct. 8 (CNA) The Ministry of Education has agreed to amend the School Health Act to impose a ban on the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks at elementary, junior high and high schools, Education Minister Pan Wen-chung (潘文忠) said Thursday.

Existing regulations allow only seven types of sweetened drinks to be sold at elementary and junior highs -- vegetable and fruit juices, fresh milk, ultra-high temperature processing (UHT) milk, soy milk, yogurt, bottled drinking water and mineral water.

The law is less restrictive for high schools, where the only sugary drinks that cannot be sold are carbonated beverages.

Pan made the comment at a legislative hearing during which Kuomintang Legislator Chiang Nai-hsin(蔣乃辛) proposed an amendment to the School Health Act to expand the ban to the sale of foods high in salt, fat and sugar in addition to prohibiting the sale of sugary beverages at high schools.

The ban was needed, he argued, because children's junk food consumption was responsible for the prevalence of obesity among students.

Around 29 percent of students at elementary and junior high schools are considered overweight or obese, Chiang noted, citing student health check data provided by the ministry.

The ministry agreed with the direction of the proposed amendment, and will be put into practice as soon as it is enacted by the Legislative Yuan, Pan said.

(By Evelyn Kao)

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