New rules

According to the new regulations, the kind of food items permitted in school snack shops are «sandwiches, toasted cheese sandwiches (plus seasonal salad items), wholemeal bread, Greek cheese, packaged white bread, sesame seed rings, raisin rolls, pasteurized milk in individual cartons, sugar-free and additive-free yogurt, seasonal fruit (washed and individually wrapped in cellophane), natural fruit juices (sugar-free), nuts and dried fruit (in individual portions), cheese and spinach pies of high quality, tea and other beverages, and coffee only for staff members.» However, according to a survey by the Consumer Protection Center: 14 percent of snack shops sell chocolate wafer biscuits and sweets; 21 percent sell sausage rolls, ham and cheese pies, sandwiches with sausage meat, and cream pies; 30 percent sell chocolate milk and lollipops; 36 percent sell fruit juice with added sugar, soft drinks and potato chips; 43 percent sell pizzas; half sell biscuits; and 57 percent croissants and chewing gum. «Children who do not eat properly today are tomorrow’s overweight adults. «Their parents are largely to blame for this situation, since they don’t give their children a balanced breakfast but hand them pocket money instead. They should show more of an interest,» said dietitian Elina Costopoulou. «Still, the state still bears the greatest responsibility. They should change the way the shops operate, restrict advertising for fast-food chains and junk food (chips, chocolate, biscuits and sugared drinks), particularly during children’s television programs. «Let us not forget that Greek children are among the most overweight in Europe.»

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