Russia bans sweets in school canteens

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nutrition Milk Russia

Sweets such as chocolate and toffees will not be sold in school
canteens throughout Russia from September 1 of this year under a
new initiative announced by the country's chief sanitary doctor,
Gennady Onischenko.

The measures are an attempt to promote healthier eating habits amongst children who are the country's main consumers of confectionery.

In response to a report published by CVC Consulting last year, Julia Bychenko, project leader at market research company Komkon, said that Russian children were taking to 'junk' food at an increasingly young age.

She said: "At the age of 4-6, Russian children are already major consumers of chocolate (78 per cent) and chewing gum (70 per cent)."

Dr Timothy Armstrong of the World Health Organisation (WHO) stated that September's ban was certainly "a start"​ in combating poor diet, particularly in institutions like schools.

He said: "As children are effectively captive in the school environments for several hours a day, it is a perfect opportunity to promote good eating habits, and for some children it may be the only place they can do this."

In announcing the ban, Dr Onischenko announced that milk shakes and other milk products would replace popular snacks in order to promote healthier eating amongst pupils.

However there is wider concern that, instead of focusing solely on food in school canteens, a multi-faceted solution to promoting a balanced diet is needed throughout society as a whole.

In a report for the WHO focusing on Russian health; factors including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and low fruit and vegetable intake, were estimated to contribute for around 40 per cent of disease in the country.

Russia are not the first to use this tactic to combat concerns over diet. Within Europe, France has also banned all vending machines in schools, while in May this year Australia followed suit by banning chocolate and doughnuts from government schools.

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