Student leaders say they're sweet enough
The first supermarket in the Nelson Marlborough region has agreed to restrict sales of high-sugar and artificially-sweetened drinks to school children from 7am-3pm.
It marks the start of a 'healthy sales' initiative under the Sweet Enough Water Only programme where Nelson Marlborough Public Health Service (PHS) staff help schools and sports organisations to adopt water-only (and plain milk) guidelines.
With Richmond's FreshChoice supermarket now on board, the focus to create healthy drink environments has extended to the wider community, thanks to the leadership of four local schools: Waimea College, Waimea Intermediate, Henley School and Richmond Primary.
Student leaders from these schools, with the backing of their principals and the PHS, called on the supermarket to lead the way in healthy sales.
PHS Health Promoter Aaryn Barlow says that the next steps are to encourage all retailers within 500m of schools to join in – restricting sales of high-sugar and artificially-sweetened drinks to school children from 7am-3pm.
"We know that many schools are uncomfortable with the fact their students are buying high-sugar soft drinks and caffeinated energy drinks because they negatively affect student behaviour and learning outcomes as well as their health," Aaryn says.
"While artificially sweetened drinks don’t contain sugar, they are highly acidic and contribute to tooth decay."