Ministry of Health encourages schools to adopt water only policies

Media release

22 March 2016

The Ministry of Health is encouraging schools to consider adopting healthy drink policies following information being provided to all schools by the Ministry of Education.

The Ministry of Health supports a simple schools drinks policy of water and plain reduced fat milk.

“Sugary drinks can cause tooth decay and contribute to childhood obesity,” says Pat Tuohy, Chief Advisor – Child and Youth Health.

“Obesity is particularly worrying in children because it’s associated with a wide range of health conditions.”

According to the latest Health Survey results one in nine children in New Zealand is obese and a further two are overweight. Childhood obesity spans all ethnicities, genders and levels of deprivation.

“The World Health Organization recommends schools create healthy food environments so introducing a water only policy is a great first step for schools,” says Pat Tuohy, Chief Advisor – Child and Youth Health.

“This announcement also supports the work we are doing with the Ministry of Education and other agencies to implement the Childhood Obesity Plan.”

More information about healthy eating for children aged 2-12 and young people is on our website:

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