Mexico curbs junk food sales in schools

January 12th, 2011 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

Mexico City, Jan 12 (IANS/EFE) Mexico has asked its all private and government schools to limit sales of junk food to protect children from being overweight or obese.About 30 percent of children and 70 percent of adults in Mexico are overweight.

The law does not ban sales of junk food in schools, but it requires private and public schools to control serving of all foods that are high in fat and sugar.

Mexico is No. 2 in the world in terms of the number of adults who are overweight and obese, trailing only the US, and it ranks first when it comes to overweight and obese children.

More than 25 million children returned to school Monday after the year-end holiday.

The Public Education Secretariat released a list Monday of 610 products, all of which are high in protein and low in fat and sugar, that can be sold at schools. The secretariat also posted recipes for preparing nutritious foods on its Web site.

The government “wants to promote a culture of healthy food habits … for children and teenagers”, a spokesperson of the secretariat said.

The new regulations on junk food are “a simulation” because “the same foods will be available but in smaller versions”, Mexico City Education Secretary Mario Delgado said.

–IANS/EFE
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