Part of the Food Policy Snapshot Series
Policy name: Ban on the sale of carbonated beverages and sweet snacks in schools
Overview: In November 2019, Grenada Education Minister Emmalin Pierre announced a ban on sales of carbonated beverages and sweet snacks in schools, effective January 1, 2020.
Food policy category: Diet and Nutrition
Program goals: To reduce sugar consumption to lead to lower rates of overweight and obesity among youth in Grenada.
How it works: As of January 2020, vendors will no longer be able to sell carbonated beverages (sodas) or sugary snacks at any public or private school in Grenada. Vendors will be issued a notice informing them of the new school nutrition policy to ensure that they will be in compliance. Parents will also be prohibited from including these items in students’ bagged lunches.
Progress to date: As of this date, the ban has not yet gone into effect, but is scheduled to begin on January 1st, 2020.
Why it is important: Grenada has experienced increasing rates of overweight and obese children in recent years. Education Minister Emmalin Pierre believes that eliminating sugar-sweetened snacks and beverages is a way to start reducing childhood obesity and related chronic illnesses.
Sugary beverages and snacks often contain “empty calories,” meaning that they have little or no nutritional value and do not provide the same feeling of fullness as other, more nutritious foods and drinks. The World Health Organization has recommended that children reduce their consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages as a means of decreasing their risk of obesity and associated physical and mental health problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, sleep disorders, depression, and low self-esteem.
Program/Policy initiated: The ban will begin on January 1, 2020.
Point of contact:
Honorable Emmalin Pierre, Education Minister
Similar practices: Jamaica also instituted a nationwide ban on sugary drinks in schools, which was effective as of January 2019. Several cities and school districts across the U.S. have banned sodas and sugar-sweetened beverages in schools; Boston was one of the first to do so in 2004. In 2005, California’s state legislature passed bills to eliminate sales of soda and junk food on public school campuses during school hours.
Evaluation: There has not been any evaluation done to date, as the ban has not yet gone into effect.
- The Association Between State Bans On Soda Only And Adolescent Substitution With Other Sugar-sweetened Beverages: A Cross-sectional Study (International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity)
- The Case to Ban Sugary Food and Drink from Schools: These Products are Addictive, and Kids Will Learn Best Without Them (Pacific Health Dialog)
- School District Policies and Adolescents’ Soda Consumption (Journal of Adolescent Health)
- Should Sugary Drinks be Banned From Schools? (Study International)
- Soda Bans in Schools Have Limited Benefit (New York Times)
- Chances Are, Boston Schools are Safe from Sugary Drinks (The Boston Globe)
- Country Report: Grenada (Pan American Health Organization)
- Grenada Bans Sale of Sodas, Snacks at Schools (The Gleaner)
- Grenada to Ban Sodas and Sweet Snacks at Schools (Now Grenada)
- Philadelphia Soda Tax Caused “Substantial Decline” in Soda Sales, Study Finds (USA Today)
- Reducing Consumption of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages to Reduce the Risk of Childhood Overweight and Obesity (World Health Organization)
- School Soda, Junk Food Bans Approved (Los Angeles Times)
- “Soda Tax” Associated With 50 Percent Drop in Sugary Drink Consumption in Berkeley, California (ABC News)
- Sugary Drink Ban – New Policy to be Implemented in Schools January 2019 (The Gleaner)
- Understanding Empty Calories (Harvard Health Publishing)