Czech Republic Education Ministry preparing decree banning sale of junk food and drinks in vending machines and buffets in school; measure would take effect either this September or January 2015

PRAGUE , May 13, 2014 () – Czech Education Minister Marcel Chladek said on Tuesday that the Education Ministry is preparing a decree banning the sale of junk food and drinks in slot machines and buffets in schools, the measure should take effect as of September 2014 or January 2015.

Chladek has opposed to the slot machines in schools for a long time. In Czech, more than 50 percent of the slot machines sell various kinds of baguettes and salty snacks, milk products possess only 10 percentages in slot machines' foods. About 86 percent of school slot machines sell packed sweets according to a survey result that carried out by the Czech School Inspection.

Drinks detrimental to health will also be banned. Chladek said coffee is often available in elementary schools. "The children do not sometimes even know that it is cafe because it is also sold as cappuccino and the like. They believe that it is cocoa or something similarly harmless," he said. "Head teachers will have to see to it that junk food and drinks, or even cigarettes, possibly alcohol are not sold there."

The prepared decree is part of the ministry's comprehensive strategy of education of children towards a healthy life style. Another part is the introduction of a third physical training lesson a week and the resumption of preventive medical examinations.

(c) 2014 Xinhua News Agency

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