Scottish schools are set to become the first in the UK to impose strict limits on the amount of red processed meat such as bacon, sausages and ham served to pupils, as part of plans to improve health and cut obesity levels. iNews reports.
Under the first new school food and drink regulations for more than a decade, smoothies and fruit juices will also be banned from both primaries and secondaries due to their high sugar content.
Schools will also have to serve a minimum of two portions of vegetables and a portion of fruit with lunches, with secondary pupils automatically offered free side salads with main meals.
The initiative, announced by Education Secretary John Swinney, will amend existing regulations governing the kind of food schools are allowed to serve pupils of all ages.
For the first time, controls will be placed on red processed meat like bacon, sausages and ham, with secondary school pupils allowed a maximum of 130g per week and primary pupils 100g.
The step is being taken amid growing concern over the use of nitrites, which are often used in processed meats and have been linked to certain types of cancer.
Primary schools will also not be allowed to serve sweet treats such as muffins, ice-cream, sponge pudding and biscuits more than three times per week, with sugar limits also imposed.
“With more than 360,000 meals served a day, schools must follow the latest scientific and dietary advice and encourage young people to choose healthy habits for life,” Mr Swinney said.
“We know that one small carton of fruit juice or smoothie contains more than the entire recommended sugar intake for a primary pupil’s lunch, so these drinks will no longer be served in schools.”
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