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Aug 11, 2017

Hungarian government to ban unhealthy foods from school lunch menus

The Hungarian government has sent a letter to the directors of public schools listing foods and beverages to be banned at school buffets and vending machines

The Hungarian government has sent a letter to the directors of public schools listing foods and beverages to be banned at school buffets and vending machines.

Bence Rétvári, the state secretary of the human resources ministry, said the letter cites the ministry directive prohibiting the sale of certain salty snacks, pre-packaged sugary products, sugary sodas, energy drinks, alcohol and tobacco in buffets and vending machines in public schools.

Rétvári said the schools’ health boards are responsible for monitoring the goods on sale in their institutions.

The state secretary pointed out that about 30 percent of adults and 20-25 percent of seven-year-olds are overweight or obese in Hungary.

Government measures to address the problem included the introduction of daily physical education lessons in schools, a canteen reform reducing salt and sugar levels in meals and the ban on smoking, he said.

Rétvári said that enforcing the directive should go hand in hand with the gradual change of approach to nutrition and life style choices in the general population.