Beijing bans sales of sodas from schools

CHINA - Carbonated drinks will be banned from being sold in Beijing's elementary and middle schools, according to the Beijing Commission of Education, People's Daily reported on Tuesday.

The commission also said there should be no grocery stores on school grounds, except for in boarding schools.

Zhou Chunhong, a parent of a 12-year-old boy, told People's Daily that the boy likes carbonated drinks and is overweight.

"I'm afraid he will keep gaining weight if he buys sodas at school," Zhou was quoted by People's Daily as saying.

A teacher with the Primary School Attached to Peking University, surnamed Zhang, supported the commission's announcement.

"Considering that children lack self-control and the hazards that sodas pose to them, our school has always banned sales of sodas.

Students can drink water from the water purifier at school," Zhang was quoted as saying.

The People's Daily report said surveys show that 76 per cent of 12-year-old Chinese children drink sodas, while 92 per cent of 14-year-olds drink them.

Sodas reduce the density of bone, decay teeth and cause obesity. Foreign surveys show that the more sodas children drink, the more aggressive, distracted and anti-social they will become, the report said.