Sugary Drink Restriction Policy in Schools will be Closely Monitored

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Jamaica News: Minister of Health, Dr. the Hon. Christopher Tufton, says measures will be put in place to monitor and enforce the implementation of the policy aimed at restricting the consumption of sweetened beverages in public educational institutions.

“We have a system in place to do so. Right now, we have over 100 nutritionists and dieticians within the public health system across the country. They are going to be mobilised to play an important role in terms of monitoring,” Dr. Tufton said.

He noted that education officers, guidance counsellors and principals will deal with coordinating activities with the concessionaires and tuck shops.

He said the monitoring mechanism will be refined further, “but we do envision that we will have a team comprising the Ministries of Education and Health to get that aspect of it dealt with”.

Dr. Tufton was speaking during a recent sitting of the House of Representatives, where he announced that Cabinet approved the interim guidelines for beverages in schools.

The guidelines place a limit on sweetened beverages above a defined maximum sugar concentration that can be sold or served at public educational institutions.

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They also stipulate a limit on sweetened beverages above a defined maximum sugar concentration that can be sold and served by all persons, companies or groups involved in the provision of beverages to these institutions, including but not limited to canteen operators, concessionaires, vendors, teachers, school administrators and students.

The guidelines specifically prohibit sugar-sweetened beverages being sold or served in schools if the total sugar concentration exceeds the following: maximum six grams (of sugar)/100 millilitre (ml), effective January 1, 2019; maximum five grams/100 ml, effective January 1, 2020; maximum four grams/100 ml, effective January 1, 2021; and maximum 2.5 grams/100 ml, effective January 1, 2023.

Beverages that will be permitted in schools include plain water; unsweetened flavoured and infused water; unsweetened juices; unsweetened coconut water; unsweetened milk or milk products; and unsweetened milk substitutes and milk substitute products.


Source: JIS News

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