The Grenada government says it will ban the sale of carbonated beverages and other snacks on the compound of all public and private schools on the island from January 1, next year.
Education Minister, Emmalin Pierre, providing details of health assessments among students which were conducted between 2010 and 2016, said that almost 20 percent of the students surveyed were obese or overweight.
“Between 2010 and 2016, study shows 17 percent of the secondary school population between 12 to 16 years are overweight and obese while two to six percent of children zero month to five years are overweight and obese,” she told the Parliament during the debate on the 2020 national budget.
“Mr. Speaker, I don’t need to explain further, in addition to obesity and all of the other chronic illnesses that our children are coming down with why we need to take some very strong action in 2020, and so from the first January 2020 we will move to fully implement Grenada’s school nutrition policy,” she said.
“We will move to ban the sale of certain products in schools including sodas and sweet snacks that our children are abusing,” Pierre said, adding that parents will also be prohibited from placing the banned snacks and drinks in lunch bags.
As part of the nutrition policy, vendors on the compound of schools will also have to comply with the new policy as a permit will now be issued to them to ensure that they are aware of the requirements.
“That permit will basically be saying that you have agreed within the policy of the nutrition of our students,” the Education Minister told legislators.
The nutrition policy will not only be affecting the vendors but will also bring changes to the school’s feeding programmes.
Pierre said that the programme had a thorough assessment and it was decided that changes will be made to the EC$3.1 million projects to ensure that students receive nutritious meals.
She said there are some schools that sometimes serve children process foods that have been scientifically classified as unhealthy.