Councilor supports ban of sodas, junk food in public schools

ANGELES CITY -- Councilor Carmelo Lazatin, Jr. has expressed support to the Department of Education (DepEd)’s order banning the sale of sodas or softdrinks and junk food in public schools nationwide.

Lazatin filed a resolution supporting DepEd Order Number 13 issued dated March 14, 2017 which is aimed to promote healthy food for students and teachers.

The order signed by DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones provided policies and guidelines on healthy food and beverage choice in schools and all education department offices.

Lazatin explained that under Briones’ order, only food under “green category” such as unsweetened milk, unsweetened buco juice, water, rice, chicken, lean meat, fish and fresh fruits should always be available in school canteens.

Lazatin added food that are classified under “yellow category” such as fruit juices, fried rice, bread using refined flour, biscuits, pancakes, sandwiches, processed food, and stir-fried vegetables should be served carefully.

Lazatin said that softdrinks, sports water, products containing caffeine, ice cream, cakes, donuts, French fries, instant noodles, chicken skin, bacon, junk food and canned fruits in heavy syrup should be totally prohibited in school canteens.

“Ako po ay kaisa ng DepEd dito dahil kailangan po nating masigurado and kalusugan ng ating mga kabataan,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin said proposed ordinance Number PO-817-01-15 aims to protect and promote the health of school children by limiting their exposure to potentially harmful food and drinks with artificial or synthetic sweetener.

Artificial or synthetic sweetener is defined under the ordinance as sugar substitutes or food additives that duplicate the effects of sugar in taste.

Junk food on the other hand refers to food products that have either too much salt or sugar and with more than the required monosodium glutamate (MSG) or food that is of little or no nutritional value and often high in fat, sugar, salt and empty calories.

“Health is the most priority for the children. Since school is considered as the second home of our children, I believe we should be vigilant and make sure they only eat nutritional foods,” Lazatin said.

The councilor added that numerous studies revealed that increased intake of junk food increased the risk of childhood obesity.

The ordinance also provides for the prohibition of students from bringing to school junk food as “baon.”

The ordinance also proposes that school canteens should instead sell milk and fresh fruit shakes and juices.
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