Study: Pupils spend much on junk food

A consumer survey of canteens in state schools in Athens, Thessaloniki and other towns in Greece indicates that most school pupils not only have too much pocket money but spend it on the wrong kind of food. The Institute of Consumer Protection (INKA) survey pointed to a lack of monitoring of the quality of food in school canteens. About 63 percent of junior high-school pupils have between 500 and 1,500 drachmas in their pockets every day, most of which goes on potato crisps and other deep fried products (56 percent) or carbonated drinks (53 percent). Many children do not eat breakfast before going to school. Even when snacks like these are not available at school, children will buy them after school at fast-food outlets. INKA said that over half of the children polled had no knowledge of what constitutes a healthy diet. Only 25 percent of parents and 21 percent of schools advised children about proper eating habits. Serious problems, including overcrowding, were also found at the Athens General Police Directorate.

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