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Original News Release




Sept. 4, 2007

Ministry of Education

Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts





·        One in four B.C. children and youth is obese or overweight (Stats Canada).


·        The federal standards for food served to children and youth over the age of two, revised in the 2007 Canada’s Food Guide, recommend much lower fat, salt and sugar levels.


·        B.C. is issuing Revised Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in B.C. Schools that align with these new standards. According to the revised guidelines, foods and drinks are placed into four categories: choose most, choose sometimes, choose least, and not recommended.


·        These standards mandate what foods can be sold in B.C. schools, including vending, cafeteria and fundraising sales.


·        The revised guidelines place more foods into the “not recommended” and “choose least” categories.


·        Under the previous guidelines, schools were required to end the sale of food and beverages in the “not recommended” category by September 2009.


·        The revised guidelines end the sale of food and beverages in the “not recommended” and “choose least” categories by January 2008 for elementary schools, and by September 2008 for middle and secondary schools.


·        “Not Recommended” foods tend to be highly processed, or have very high amounts of sweeteners, salt, caffeine, fat, trans fat or calories relative to their nutritional value. Sugar may be the first ingredient or the second ingredient after water. Examples include:

o       most pop and sport drinks,

o       all artificially sweetened foods and drinks (elementary and middle schools only),

o       many deep fried foods,

o       very high fat, sugary or salty pastries,

o       many regular canned soups,

o       most French fries,

o       some pizzas (e.g. double cheese style),

o       all regular coffee and tea drinks,

o       most regular packages of candy or chocolate,

o       some sugary cereals,

o       high-fat, high-salt potato or other chips, and

o       many decaffeinated coffee or tea drinks with milk and sugar.

·        “Choose Least” foods may be low in key nutrients such as iron and calcium, and may be highly salted, sweetened or processed. Examples include:

o       most cakes or pastries, cookies and muffins,

o       most regular tomato or vegetable juices,

o       some higher-fat cheeses,

o       many energy bars with added fats, “low-carb” bars, and bars with sugar as the first ingredient,

o       most bagged corn or wheat snacks,

o       most very small packages of candy,

o       many high-sodium canned soups,

o       most instant soups,

o       most pasta salads,

o       most meat pot pies,

o       some pizzas (e.g. meat lovers style), and

o       some sugary cereals.


·        The guidelines are available to the public on the ministry’s website at:






Lara Perzoff

Public Affairs Bureau

Ministry of Education

250 356-5963

250 920-9040 (cell)

Trish Fougner

Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts

(ActNow BC)

250 356-9814

250 920-8542 (cell)


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