​Lazatin supports​ ​DepEd’s ban on softdrinks, junkfoods

ANGELES CITY — Opposition Councilor Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. filed a resolution supporting the Department of Education’s order banning the sale of softdrinks and junkfoods in public schools nationwide.

Lazatin filed the resolution on July 20, supporting DepEd order no. 13 issued last March 14, prohibiting the marketing of softdrinks and junkfoods in public schools in a bid to promote healthy eating among students and teachers.

The order signed by Secretary Leonor Briones also provided policies and guidelines on healthy food and beverage choice in schools and all education department offices.

Lazatin explained that under Briones’ order, only food under “green category” such as unsweetened milk, unsweetened buco juice, water, rice, chicken, lean meat, fish and fresh fruits should always be available in school canteens.

Lazatin added foods that are classified under “yellow category” such as fruit juices, fried rice, bread using refined flour, biscuits, pancakes, sandwiches, processed food, and stir-fried vegetables should be served carefully.

Lazatinsaid that softdrinks, sports water, products containing caffeine, ice cream, cakes, donuts, French fries, instant noodles, chicken skin, bacon, junk food and canned fruits in heavy syrup should be totally prohibited in school canteens.

“Ako po ay kaisa ng DepEd ditodahilkailanganponatingmasigurado and kalusugan ng atingmgakabataan,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin for his part, recently filed Ordinance No. PO-817-01-15 banning the sale of junk foods and carbonated drinks within school premises in this city.

Lazatin said the proposed ordinance aims to protect and promote the health of school children by limiting their exposure to potentially harmful food and drinks with artificial or synthetic sweetener.

Artificial or synthetic sweetener is defined under the ordinance as sugar substitutes or food additives that duplicate the effects of sugar in taste.

Junk food on the other hand refers to food products that have either too much salt or sugar and with more than the required monosodium glutamate (MSG) or food that is of little or no nutritional value and often high in fat, sugar, salt and empty calories.

“Health is the most priority for the children. Since school is considered as the second home of our children, I believe we should be vigilant and make sure they only eat nutritional foods,” Lazatin said.

The councilor added that numerous studies revealed that increased intake of junk food increased the risk of childhood obesity.

Aside from banning the selling of carbonated drinks, drinks with artificial or synthetic sweeteners and junk foods, the ordinance also provides for the prohibition of students from bringing in to school junk foods as “baon.”

The ordinance also proposes that school canteens should instead sell milk and shakes and juices prepared using fruits and vegetables.