Healthy Schools Manchester is 'relentless' in tackling energy drinks
Healthy Schools are launching a campaign to try to combat the
surge of energy drink consumption by children and young people in
schools all around the region.
The campaign, The Big Health Challenge, is an 'Apprentice' style
project, where young people in schools are being asked to work
together to come up with a healthier drink option, whilst getting
the chance to make money from the enterprise initiative.
After being contacted by several high schools, who are
struggling with energy drink issues, Healthy Schools decided to
start up a project to tackle issues and put the young people in
charge of combating these issues.
Claire Duggan, Operational Manager of the Manchester Healthy
Schools Team said of the project: "We support our schools to work
towards the public health priorities for the city. One of those
priorities is to reduce the level of childhood obesity.
Energy drinks have become a contributing factor to obesity
because of their very high sugar content".
Claire continued "But convincing young people to change their
behaviour is a huge challenge and we are constantly trying new
initiatives to engage young people and this is our latest
The main objectives for the campaign, which the young people
have to combat and action, are:
- Stop the illegal selling of these drinks in schools by other
pupils, by engaging these pupils in a 'legal' alternative healthy
drink that they either buy or manufacture themselves.
- To educate their peers about the health consequences of these
sugar loaded high caffeine drinks.
- To convince young people that they are in fact the victims of
manipulation and of their ability to turn around these 'trends'
which large companies create in order to make huge profits, with
little concern for the health risks involved.
To launch this campaign schools around the region took part in
'Drop the Drink' events. This asked schools to take part in a
collection of empties of all the drinks pupils have consumed the
night before and on the way to school. This stunt helps to raise
awareness of the issue, by visually demonstrating the level of
consumption and hopefully shocking the young people to take
Claire concluded "There are many bright, motivated and
enterprising young people in our high schools and we need to get
them to help us to determine what is likely to motivate them and
their peers to make healthier life choices".