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In Vhembe-Mutale school district, sugary drinks have been banned since the beginning of the school year.
The change has been successful and popular according to Health24, as parents like Tambulani Mbedzi explained that her child was suffering from headaches and found out that it was due to drinking a lot of sugary drinks at school being sold by hawkers.
Children would buy two or three bottles of sugary drinks at a lower price from these hawkers that were selling sugary drinks to kids at school.
The deputy principal at the school, Rendani Nemufulwi complained that because of these hawkers, that would even try to sell to kids secretly, kids were drinking tons of sugary drinks at the school and were less inclined to eat nutritious foods.
Parents are happy about the changes, where the school has recognized the health needs of their children and took action, explained parent Gloria Masithi to Health24.
Now the school is also implementing a policy around having each child drink at least three cups of water a day, providing a clean and healthy alternative to sugary beverages.
“We are trying to sustain a good healthy lifestyle for them, and we also asked the parents to help by doing the same at home. Instead of feeding children sugary drinks, we must get them to drink pure water and also reduce the amount of other sugary foods they eat,” said Nemufulwi.
Sugary beverages are not only linked to unhealthy weight in kids but also can lead to tooth decay, type 2 diabetes and other chronic health risks.
Kids should not consume sugary drinks like soda, sports and energy drinks, fruit juices and fruit drinks that contain less than 100% fruit juice and flavored milk, as many of these beverage options are high in sugar.
Ensuring a healthier school environment by setting policies to reduce sugary drink consumption and provide healthier beverage alternatives can help kids stay healthy at school and see healthy choices as the best choices.