With data revealing that Trinidad and Tobago has a “childhood obesity epidemic that must be arrested immediately”, the sale of sugar-sweetened drinks will be forbidden in the nation’s schools from April.

The ban on soft drinks, juice drinks, flavoured water, sports/energy drinks, tea and coffee and milk-based drinks with added sugars and artificial sweeteners, will be implemented at all government and government-assisted schools.

Only water, 100 per cent sweet juices, low-fat milk and blended vegetable or fruit drinks will be allowed to be sold at schools.

The move comes against the background of increased obesity, the ministry said.

“This high prevalence of childhood obesity leads to early onset of NCDs (non-communicable diseases) in general and to diabetes and hypertension in particular,” the ministry said, according to a report by Caribbean 360 News.

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