Latvia has become the first European Union (EU) country to ban the sale of confectionery, including chewing gum, and potato crisps, in its state-run schools and nurseries.

 

Strictly speaking, the health ministry prohibition covers all foods and drinks containing artificial additives including colourings, flavourings, preservatives, caffeine, and amino-acids sold in state schools.

Vending machines and kiosks will replace the banned foods with fruit juice (unsweetened), dried fruit, unsalted nuts, milk, mineral water, muesli bars and similar products. Students can bring banned items to school with them, but the Latvian government is requiring teachers to persuade them to switch to healthier alternatives.