South Korea is to ban the sale of coffee in schools in an effort to promote healthier choices among students and teachers.
All vending machines and snack kiosks in primary and secondary schools are to stop selling all coffee products by Sept. 14, the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety said.
“The revision aims to create healthy eating habits among children and teenagers,” the Korea Times quoted a ministry official as saying. “We will make sure coffee is banned at schools without fail.”
The ban in schools is part of a wider campaign by officials to discourage consumption of foods and drinks high in calories or caffeine, and follows media reports of some students experiencing heart palpitations after drinking coffee.
Authorities cited dizziness, increased heartbeat, sleep disorders and nervousness as other symptoms.
Many students consume coffee or energy drinks to stay alert to study in an effort to excel in South Korea’s highly competitive and demanding educational system.
South Koreans drink an average of 181 cups of coffee each year, by far the most in Asia, market research firm Euromonitor said.
That is more that the 151 cups consumed per person in the UK, but less than the average of 266 cups in the US.
Packets of sugary, milky instant coffee became popular in the 1950s, coinciding with the arrival of thousands of US troops, and over the past few years trendy cafes have opened on nearly every street.
The ban on coffee in schools follows a restriction on energy drinks earlier this year.
It also comes in the wake of a prohibition on TV commercials for fast food, sugary snacks and high-caffeine beverages during times when most children’s programs air.
About 17 percent of primary and secondary students were obese in 2016, government figures showed, up from about 12 percent a decade earlier.
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