Too much sugary snacks at schools, says health institute

Vending machines (Photo: Jean Housen / Wikimedia Commons). (Vending machines (Photo: Jean Housen / Wikimedia Commons))

Too many schools still have vending machines offering kids sugary snacks and soft drinks. These vending machines have to be banned because the stand in the way of healthy diets, public health institute RIVM concludes in a study titled The nutrition environment in schools, AD reports.

According to the study, 83 percent of high schools still have a soft drinks vending machine and 70 percent have a vending machine for snacks. At vocational high schools, this is even higher at 91 and 85 percent respectively.

While the number of vending machines at schools did decline somewhat, the figures are still distressingly high, according to the RIVM. The vending machines completely counteract schools efforts to offer healthy food in their cafeterias.

"The vending machines stand in the way of a healthy school. You as school can put effort into healthy food, but if you do nothing about the contents of vending machines you lose the effect", Matthijs van den Berg, head of the RIVM Department Prevention & Nutrition, said to the newspaper. "We all want our children to have healthy food around them at school. It is great that more and more schools are working on that, but it is not desirable that there are still so many vending machines containing mainly unhealthy products."