Time to ditch sugary drinks in schools

The New Zealand Dental Association (NZDA) and Maori health care provider Hāpai Te Hauora have called on Education Minister Nikki Kaye to back ‘water only’ schools as two primary schools become the first in Auckland to ditch sugary drinks completely.



According to stuff.co.nz, both Onehunga and Point Chevalier Primary Schools have taken a stand against tooth decay by replacing all sugary drinks with water and milk.


This comes after the Ministries of Health and Education made an announcement encouraging schools to provide students with water and milk only.


Auckland’s Kelston Boys’ High School celebrated Men’s Health Week - 12-18 June - with a 3.1-kilometre 'walk for water' raising funds for a new water fountain and for water bottles.


However schools are still allowed to sell fizzy drinks, flavoured milk and fruit juices in tuck shops and students are allowed to bring these drinks onto the school premises.


Hāpai Te Hauora has stood against sugary drinks in schools, endorsing a consensus statement led by NZDA.


Lance Norman CEO of Hāpai Te Hauora says it is an issue that Hāpai has advocated for within the communities for years.


“Given their high Māori and Pacific roll, we’re especially pleased to see a school like Kelston Boys’ High leading the way.


“We hope the Minister takes note and demonstrates leadership in supporting water only schools.”


NZDA spokesperson Dr Rob Beaglehole says, “We’re calling on the Minister to make water-only a requirement for all schools. Kelston Boys’ is a great example here, but the Minister could step-up and have an impact on the health of all students.”


Since last June, NZDA dentists have been supporting schools to become ‘water only’.


Hāpai Te Hauora and 12 other public health groups are backing a NZDA-led 7-point Consensus Statement on Sugary Drinks.



About Hāpai Te Hauora



Hāpai are leaders in Public Health, Policy, Advocacy, Research and Evaluation and Infrastructure services. Hāpai provide a strategic focus that is underpinned by evidence based research for the advancement of health and well being for communities.The Mission of Hāpai is to increase opportunities for Māori to enjoy good health and to be sustained by healthy environments.