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Ontario high schools still offering unhealthy snacks

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A new study published in the Canadian Journal of Public Health reports that high schools are still selling unhealthy drinks and snacks in vending machines, three years after the Ontario Ministry of Education mandated that schools exclude foods high in sugar, fat, and salt.

In 2014, 58% of schools offered at least one drink from the Ontario School Food and Beverage Policy, Not Permitted for Sale list, and 53% offered at least one Not Permitted snack.

“No schools were offering chocolate bars, deep fried chips, or non-diet pop, but there is still a lot of room for improvement,” says Taryn Orava, lead author.  

The study gives some explanation as to why schools are missing the mark: policy implementation takes time, school officials may have misinterpreted the guidelines, and there is little being done to enforce and monitor the policy.

“Healthy eating is closely tied to academic achievement,” says Orava. “It's time we make the healthy choice, the easy choice for our students – so that they thrive in academics and in health.”

Read the study.

For more information please contact Dr. Rhona Hanning: School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Tel: 519-888-4567, ext. 35685, E-mail: RHanning@uwaterloo.ca