Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Australian Grade School Targeting Kids' Liquid Sugar with Water Only Policy

Liquid calories, and especially those that are sugar-sweetened, are the lowest hanging fruit on the tree of dietary improvement.

Whether for control of calories, or as a means to reduce consumption of free sugars, getting juice and sugar-sweetened milk out of our kids schools, a place where they spend the majority of their weeks' waking hours, might have an impact.

In that vein, Merrigum Primary School in Australia recently announced it had become a "Water Only School", the principles of which include:
  • Ensuring drinking water is available to students at all times.
  • Permitting children to bring only water to school.
  • Providing no sweet drinks through lunch orders or canteens.
  • Ensuring staff model the behaviour by not bringing sweet drinks to school.
And as far as the water goes, there are no bottles - it's all tap!

Personally, I love this initiative, and hope it spreads, but I also know that many might see it as overly controlling. Perhaps at the very least schools could be "Water Only" in terms of the liquids they offer/sell to students on campus which in turn would leave it exclusively to parents to decide what to send.

[Thanks to Rosemary Rich for sending this my way]