In a letter sent to the directors of public schools, the Hungarian government listed the foods and beverages to be banned at school buffets and vending machines, the state secretary of the human resources ministry told the press on Thursday.
The letter, sent before the contracts with operators of the facilities are concluded for the new school year, cites the ministry directive prohibiting the sale of certain salty snacks, pre-packaged sugary products, sugary sodas, energy drinks, alcohol and tobacco in buffets and vending machines in public schools.
The schools’ health boards are responsible for monitoring the goods on sale, Bence Rétvári said.
About 30 percent of adults and 20-25 percent of seven-year-olds are overweight or obese in Hungary, Rétvári noted. Government measures to address the problem included the introduction of daily physical education lessons in schools, a canteen reform reducing salt and sugar levels in meals and the ban on smoking, he said.
Enforcing the directive should go hand in hand with the gradual change of approach to nutrition and life style choices in the population, Rétvári said.