Sun, Mar 26, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Changhua bans sugary drinks on school campuses

SUGAR CRASH:With its food safety amendment, the county became the first local government to ban sugary drinks at educational institutions

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Changhua County on March 10 became the nation’s first local government to ban sugar-sweetened beverages on preschool to senior-high school campuses and other educational institutions.

The Changhua County Self-Governance Ordinances for Food Safety Management (彰化縣食品安全管理自治條例) was amended earlier this month.

The amendment includes bans on sugar-sweetened drinks in schools, ractopamine residue in pork and food imports from five Japanese prefectures near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.

Companies and people are not allowed to provide sugar-sweetened drinks to students in the county’s approximately 1,000 educational institutions, no matter whether selling, gifting, rewarding or delivering, the county’s Public Health Bureau said.

If parents bring sugary drinks to their children, they are required to have sugar content labeling and it cannot exceed 25g per serving.

Violators face a mandatory one-hour lecture or counseling session about health and nutrition, or a fine from NT$10,000 to NT$30,000 for repeated violations, it added.

The bureau said excessive consumption of sugary beverages can lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood sugar and other chronic diseases, but many students are used to having such drinks as their main source of liquid.

A survey the bureau conducted in 2015 showed that about 60 percent of teachers and parents of elementary-school and high-school students have used sugary drinks as a reward for good behavior and performance.

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