Fine Gael Dublin West Senator, Catherine Noone has today (Wednesday) called on the Department of Education to consider rules regarding the installation and supply of vending machines in schools.
“Schools are increasingly installing vending machines on their premises. I believe there must be a code of conduct governing these machines.
“Many of these machines are supplying chocolate and soft drinks which are high in sugar, fat and caffeine. There is no emphasis on healthy eating. This problem comes against a backdrop of childhood obesity increasing at a dramatic rate and it is clear that action needs to be taken. Unhealthy foods are within arm’s reach for the entire school day for children in many schools, and this should change.
“Some schools have codes of conduct regarding what can be supplied in them, but a great many don’t. This must change, and I am calling on the Department of Education to introduce binding guidelines in respect of vending machines in schools.
“I believe these guidelines should govern the number of vending machines, and the type of things which are allowed be sold in them. It’s clear that non-binding guidelines and self-regulation isn’t working, and now it’s time to take action.”