Changhua bans sugary drinks on school campuses

Taipei--Changhua County has imposed a ban on sugar-sweetened drinks and pork products containing ractopamine residues on all school campuses in the county.

The ban, the result of an amendment of a county ordinance on food safety management that took effect on March 10, also prohibits sales of food items from radiation-affected areas, said Yeh Yen-po (???), director-general of the Changhua County Public Health Bureau.

Yeh said violators of the new regulations could face fines from NT$60,000 to NT$200 million (US$1,979 to US$6.6 million).

The ban covers sugary drinks at kindergartens, elementary and junior high schools, six-year high schools, and other pre-school and after-school educational institutions.

Yeh said the ban was imposed to safeguard the health of the county's students as sugary drinks have been found to be a key culprit behind the rise of obesity, diabetes, high blood sugar and other chronic illnesses.

They are also widely consumed and even used as an incentive, Yeh said, citing a survey that found 60 percent of teachers and parents of students at elementary, junior high and vocational high schools in the county had used sugary drinks to reward students for good performances.

Those factors led the county government to amend the rules to prohibit giving or selling sugar-sweetened drinks to students at the county's educational institutions, Yeh said.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel