Home / News Updates / G’vt Considers Soda Ban in Public Schools

G’vt Considers Soda Ban in Public Schools

(PRESS RELEASE) – The Ministry of Health & Wellness is embarking on a campaign to discontinue the sale of sodas on school compounds.

Sodas are considered to have disastrous effects on health. Regular consumption is linked to diabetes, heart disease, obesity, asthma, cavities, among others.

On the 23rd of November, 2017 the Chief Nutritionist in the Ministry of Health & Wellness, Lisa Hunt-Mitchell, hosted one of several meetings with school principals from District 5, 6 and 7 to discuss the best way forward to reduce the consumption of sodas among the youth.

Hunt-Mitchell said: “We would like to share knowledge on the negative impacts of soft-drinks, so the Ministry of Health is engaging them, consulting with them so that they can be supporting us in trying to remove the soft drinks from the schools.”

The Chief Nutritionist said the intention is not to place a hole in the pockets of the local manufactures but instead ensure a healthier nation.

She added: “We are not targeting any company because the company also produce water and we encouraging children to drink more water than juices or soft drinks. Now people may wonder why we are targeting or focusing on soft drinks, sweeten beverages are bad for health but the issue with soft drinks is that soft drinks have ingredients that are far worse than what is in juice drinks. The ingredients such as caffeine, phosphoric acid, the preservatives, the colouring, all these ingredients have very negative effects on health and this is why we are targeting soft drinks we are focusing rather on soft drinks because of the negative impacts on health, its far worse than what the juice drinks would do. ”

Mitchell added that Saint Lucia won’t be the first or the last to implement the policy to band sodas on school compounds.

“There are many countries that have actually ban soft drinks from schools. Barbados have done it, also Trinidad recently ban soft drinks and also sweeten drinks from schools, you have schools in America in the bigger countries and so we are not only following a trend this is because we aware of the negative impacts that soft drinks have on health.”

Meanwhile, Acting Principal at Plain View Combined, Ella Tomas-John, said she believe that the aforementioned policy should have been implemented sooner rather than later.

Tomas-John explained: “I think it should have been done a long time ago so that by now we would have reduced on the amount of behavioural problems that we are having since I learnt that it is related to the sugars in the soft drinks as well as the health of our children, the number of children who are obese because they consume all this sugar and yet they do not engage in physical behaviour as before. Most children have their iPad or their phones that they play with although they are at play but they not physically running about and doing the things that they use to do before.”

The fundamental principle of the Ministry of Health Wellness is to curb the detrimental health effects sodas may have on future generations.

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One comment

  1. I will say this, the plan to prohibit the sale of Sodas on school compounds is an effort at preserving the health and wellness of our nation’s children. That is a social imperative.No doubt there will be many of us who will oppose and even challenge that policy for myriad reasons, predominant among them the mass profit motive. But we must not be swayed at all. When we protect our children from harm, we are for all practical purposes, protecting our nation’s future prosperity. But what about the Nation’s wellness and prosperity of today.

    We are told by the authorities that St. Lucia has the untoward distinction of having the highest rate of diabetes and associated hypertension in the world.There is a direct correlation between
    the level of consumption of Sodas by the whole population, and that rate of affliction. The whole nation must be sensitised to the need for restraint and discipline, and inspired to unreservedly support that initiative.

    To my mind the manufacture, importation and sale of Sodas need to be , not only regulated but restricted to absolute minimum. Adult consumption, right in the face of their children , albeit in the spirit of “…don’t do as i do, I am an adult,you are but a child ” must also be reduced to minimum, and through sensitization phased out of our society. This measure must include ALL sectors of society and ALL demographics..

    This social malaise places our nation’s economy is under heavy strain. Our nation’s health system is marred by overwhelming costs and is patently dysfunctional, for want of a better term.Every Soda that is manufactured , sold and consumed on the island is a thorn in the nation’s backside. No doubt, are other ways to remove that thorn , but the most effective and failsafe way is to apply a good efficacious poultice The stringent prohibition on the manufacture sale and consumption of Sodas. is the best poultice that we as a nation can apply.

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