Monday 30 November, 2020

Popular 'nutri bulla’ to be withdrawn from schools

The 'nutri bulla'.

The 'nutri bulla'.

The popular ‘nutri bulla’ which has been a favourite of Jamaican primary school children for more than 40 years is among the food items that will soon be banned from public schools.

It forms part of efforts by the government to reduce obesity levels among Jamaican children and, as a first step, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, signalled during his sectoral budget presentation in June that there will be restrictions to the sugar content of beverages that are made available in public schools as of January, 2019.

"Bullas and all those things will be withdrawn, generally, from the market, and it (the replacement) has to be whatever products are very much consistent with the government's nutrition policy,” said education Minister Ruel Reid as he addressed delegates on Wednesday’s final day of the annual conference of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association in Montego Bay, St James.

The minister noted that only two per cent of schools have their own canteens.

As a result, he said: “Nutrition Products Limited will be reorganised to support the delivery of lunches by providing the resources, or material, for you to provide the meals, only in those schools that don't have canteens.”

Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton.

Dr Tufton, who made a cameo appearance at the conference, urged teachers to support the government in its quest to have children embrace healthier eating habits.

He said the two ministries involved – health and education – “will have to get all the critical stakeholders, teachers being part of that, to help us provide the guidance necessary to our young people as the first line of defence to combat lifestyle ailments."

He pointed to his announcement about the coming restrictions on sugary drinks in school, and the introduction of the Jamaica Moves campaign in schools next school year.

Tufton told teachers: “The message from you is going to be absolutely critical in supporting the success of this new programme that we will embark on as part of the preventative approach to health care."

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