Vending machines will not be banned from secondary schools, it has emerged today, even after the HSE and other groups raised renewed opposition to them.
The Department of Education has reportedly ignored fresh calls for secondary schools to remove the machines, even though recent figures from the World Health Organisation show that Ireland has the highest rate of obesity among EU member states for young children.
The HSE has this week released a statement supporting a ban on junk food in school vending machines, while at the same time supporting fast-food exclusion zones around schools.
Vending machines are installed in about 30% of schools, and in many cases there is also a school shop which serves unhealthy food.
The Department of Education has confirmed however that there are no plans to ban vending machines in secondary schools. They also stated that schools’ efforts for a healthier living must be complemented by parents and the wider community.