They adopted a ‘water only’ policy.
There was one complaint – but better behaviour – attendance and achievement.
The majority of the school’s pupils are Maori and Pasifika.
It has a 1a decile rating.
‘What that means in laymans terms – on the socio-economic scale – it’s the lowest of the low’ Dunlop said in a Tedx talk in Manukau Auckland in 2015.
The school had historically been plagued by poor attendance – bad behaviour and food choices Dunlop said.
Since the switch Dunlop has reported behaviour – achievement levels and attendance has improved and there has been a reduction in skin infections as well as better dental health.
She expected a raft of parent complaints when the initiative began but the school received just one.
‘The kids lost so much weight because they weren’t having sugary drinks that they had to bring in smaller uniforms’ Beaglehole said.
Beaglehole and Thornley both want to see a ‘water only’ policy implemented by all schools.
Thornley said the strict nutrition policy was ‘likely to reduce health-care costs associated with the treatment of cavities’.
‘I think we worked out we spend about $20m a year in NZ putting kids under general anesthetic to treat the sugar addiction.
To me it’s totally unnecessary’.
‘But because we are swimming in sugar as a society that’s the price we have to pay’.