Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc has decided to impose a ban on the sale of all types of soft drinks at schools across the country.
The PM has asked the ministries of Health, Education and Training, and Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to implement the regulation in a bid to improve children’s health and height.
The Ministry of Education and Training has been asked to raise the awareness of teachers and students on how to eat a healthy, balanced diet and ensure food hygiene and safety.
The ministry has also been asked to improve the quality of meals at schools as well as organise programmes to encourage students to drink milk instead of soft drinks.
In addition, advertisements for soft drinks, alcohol drinks and unhealthy food must be banned at schools, according to the PM.
A soft drink is a drink that typically contains carbonated water, a sweetener and natural or artificial flavouring. Soft drinks may also contain caffeine, colourings, preservatives and other ingredients.
Many countries in the world have imposed such a ban considering the harmful and adverse effects of soft drinks on children’s health.
Experts have called for the urgent implementation of this regulation.
The rate of malnourished children under five years old with extremely low height and weight is 24 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, according to the latest statistics from the National Institute of Nutrition.
Meanwhile, the number of obese children in big cities across the country is increasing at an alarming rate, almost the same as the rate of obese children in the world, according to the institute.
In 2011, the Government launched a programme to increase the height and physical fitness of Vietnamese people in the 2011-30 period.
However, the programme has not been implemented due to a lack of funding. Meanwhile, the indicators on height show that the Vietnamese are the shortest in Southeast Asia. — VNS