Confectionery to be eradicated from Victorian school tuckshops and vending machines

Posted by Isobel Drake on 17th November 2008

Chocolates, lollies and other sugar-rich foods will be off the menu next year in Victorian government schools under new changes to be introduced by the state government.Victoria’s Education Minister, Bronwyn Pike, said that, from the start of 2009, chocolates and lollies such as chocolate bars, marshmallows, jellybeans and sherbet will be banned from government school canteens and vending machines.

“Research shows that around 37 per cent of a child’s total energy intake is consumed at school so it’s vital that we have a range of healthy options available to help students make valuable food choices,” Ms Pike said. “Sugar-rich foods such as lollies, jellies, sherbet and chocolate have little or no nutritional value and some confectionery such as chocolate can be high in saturated fat.”

“We want to give students healthy alternatives such as fruit, salads and fresh wraps that will give them the energy and stamina they need for the day,” Ms Pike added.

An audit of at least 100 schools will be conducted in 2009 to determine compliance with the confectionery ban.

The audit will cover both confectionery and high-sugar drinks and involve government schools in metropolitan and regional Victoria. It follows a similar audit conducted in 2007 after the ban on high-sugar drinks, which found more than 98 per cent of schools were compliant with the ban.

Ms Pike claimed the confectionery ban added to the list of healthy initiatives in schools including; mandated sport and physical education, new and upgraded sporting facilities, the Victorian Government’s $11 million Go for your life Free Fruit Friday initiative and healthy canteen food.

“A healthy body promotes a healthy mind and that is why we are teaching students early on about the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle,” Ms Pike said. “With alarming statistics showing almost one-quarter of children aged 2-16 years are overweight or obese, it is vital that we work together to reinforce the healthy living message.”

“Of course, parents also have an important role to play in creating and reinforcing positive habits at home and ensuring children eat the right foods that will help them grow into healthy adults.”

All of Victoria’s government schools will be issued with a comprehensive checklist developed in consultation with Nutrition Australia, Victoria Division to help them implement the ban before the start of term one next year.

What’s out in 2009

Chocolate chips and buttons
Chocolate coated nuts and fruit
Bubble gum
Jelly beans
Turkish delight