Chile to eliminate junk food from schools
All spaces selling food in Chilean schools will no longer be allowed to sell junk food as of June 27, while new laws will prohibit advertising unhealthy food to children under 14 years of age.
Health Minister Carmen Castillo highlighted the efforts made to implement the new policies, which form part of Act 20,606 on Nutritional Composition and Advertising.
"The statistics show us that obesity is growing every day amongst our children. In fact, one in every four students of elementary school is obese," Castillo said.
"That's why it's important to strengthen our strategies, and healthy kiosks are one of them."
Castillo's comments were made at a ceremony that took place at the school "Dr. Luis Calvo Mackenna", where Santiago Mayor Carolina Tohá highlighted the range of activities and actions necessary to tackle the epidemic.
"We are working on developing habits for healthy living, stimulating physical activity, the timely detection of overweight and obesity problems, and improving the food given and sold at schools," Tohá said.
The Ministries of Helath and Education have developed a "Guide to Kiosks and Healthy Lunches" as material to support the new Act, which will be distributed to 12,000 public and private educational establishments throughout the country.
Products that will not be allowed for sale or distribution in schools include candy, sweet or salty snacks, and sugary drinks.
Items that can be part of the nutritional offering at schools include fruit, dairy products without sugar, dried fruits, non-sugary drinks and cereals that comply with standards set by the Ministry of Health.
Also in the works is a regulation that will require junk foods to include the label 'ALTO EN' (HIGH IN), likely for products that are high in sugar, salt or fat.
Products with the 'ALTO EN' label will not be able to offer toys, competitions, accessories, stickers or other products that can attract the attention of children.