Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Food rebellion in Melbourne schools continues

Students are ignoring healthy canteen initiatives by turning to nearby milkbars for their junk food fix. Some senior students are also offered money to buy junk food for younger students not allowed to leave the school grounds. Secondary school students across inner Melbourne told the Sunday Herald Sun how they turn their back on healthy canteens.

Northcote High School year 12 student Nicole, 18, said a nearby milkbar was more than happy to sell fatty fried foods such as spring rolls and hot chips. Nicole thinks these foods are popular because they are cheap. A spring roll at the milkbar costs $1.70, while the school canteen charges about $4 for a salad roll.

Princes Hill Secondary College student Natina, 13, said the milkbar near her school was cheap and had a wider range of junk food and good healthy options.

Northcote High School has one of the state's healthiest canteens, yet VCE students choose to buy junk food from a milkbar. Principal Gail Davidson said it was disappointing, but added that VCE students were young adults and able to make their own choices.

State Secondary Principals Association president Andrew Blair said many schools were concerned about milkbars. Mr Blair said some principals had even resorted to asking milkbar owners not to serve students. Nutrition Australia dietician Kelly Neville said milkbar owners often weren't aware of healthy eating guidelines.


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