June 21. 2024. 5:46

The Daily

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Slovak school cafeterias banned from selling soft drinks, fried food

School cafeterias will no longer be allowed to sell energy and sugary drinks or fried foods, while sweets, crisps, and similar products can make up at most half of the range offered, according to a new decree.

Sugary drinks with more than five grams of sugar per 100 millilitres and energy drinks or fast food products will be banned.

“The assortment in school cafeterias will change. They will get more healthy food and drinks. The unhealthy ones will either disappear from the counter, or the offer will be adjusted. This is to promote healthy food and drink choices among children and encourage them to eat healthier,” the Public Health Office said.

The aim is to reduce salt and sugar consumption in Slovakia, particularly as obesity is already affecting children, according to Public Health—data from 2022 points to obesity affecting over 12,000 children.

“Many parents spend a lot of energy on instilling healthy eating habits in their children. So their efforts shouldn’t go to waste even when the child is making their own eating decisions. A balanced diet is essential for good health and academic success, and the offerings in school cafeterias should reflect that,” the office said.

Based on the changes, the food choices will consist mainly of fresh fruit and vegetables, fruit and vegetable juices, wholemeal and cereal products, milk and milk products with reduced added sugars, including lactose-free alternatives, beverages and natural juices without preservatives.

The Public Health Office warned that the new decree would be strictly enforced.