Two South Taranaki dairies agree not to sell sugary drinks to children before school

24 February 2017

Taranaki DHB’s Public Health Unit is praising the efforts of South Taranaki retailers who have chosen not to sell sugar sweetened beverages (SSBs) to children on their way to school in the morning.

Stratford’s Northern Dairy and CR Dairy in Eltham are two retailers supporting the Taranaki Public Health Unit’s (PHU) ‘Tap into Water’ project to help combat child obesity, tooth decay and other health issues.  The project also aims to get decile 1-4 schools in Taranaki to adopt a water only policy by June 2017.

Jill Nicholls, Taranaki DHB Health Promoter, said “Education can help to change attitudes, but changing the environment is the only way to really improve all the complex health problems associated with SSBs. That’s not easy to achieve when sugary drinks are sold at school and on the way to school, so we appreciate the changes these retailers are making.”

“Research has found poor diet and nutrition are associated with lower academic achievement.  SSBs have no nutritional value and if the calories from regular excessive sugar consumption are not burned off, it can lead to long term health complications like obesity, heart disease, diabetes, raised blood pressure and tooth decay.”

The PHU has been working with local schools to support them to become water only and have started visiting South Taranaki retailers, including dairies, petrol stations and supermarkets to provide information on how they can help with reducing the amount of sugar a child has each day.    

“Children shouldn’t start their school day with the amount of high sugar that SSBs contain as it can interfere with concentration, learning and problem behaviour.  Research shows that on average a 600ml bottle of fizzy has more than 16 teaspoons of sugar. The Ministry of Health recommends that a child has less than 3-5 teaspoons of sugar per day and an adult less than six teaspoons per day,” said Ms Nicholls.

Both Northern Dairy and CR Dairy will support the move not to sell SSBs to children before 9am on school days, and Taranaki catering company KDJ are committed to making healthy changes at their venues at the Aquatic Centre Rock Pool Café, TSB Stadium and Yarrow Stadium by agreeing not to stock 600ml bottles of SSBs and introduce lower sugar drinks.

In the coming weeks the PHU also plan to visit North Taranaki retailers near the schools they are working with.  Ms Nicholls explains “Local retailers will be given ‘Tap into Water’ resources and those who are willing to support the project will receive a Certificate of Recognition to display in store.”

“As a community we all need to work together and create an environment that supports better choices.  This includes less consumption of sugar sweetened beverages for our children.”

Taranaki retailers of SSBs and any schools interested in knowing more about the ‘Tap into Water’ project can contact Jill Nicholls at the Taranaki Public Health Unit on (06) 753 7777 or email jill.nicholls@tdhb.org.nz

For more information please call

Beth Findlay-Heath
Communications Advisor
021 665 017

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