South Scotland

Dumfries and Galloway school food sales restrictions considered

Junk food Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption Restrictions could be used to try to encourage more healthy eating options near schools

Rules about where and when street traders can sell food near schools in Dumfries and Galloway could be set to change.

Councillors will examine the effect they have on children's eating habits.

A report to the region's education committee will highlight statistics that suggest more than a quarter of children in Dumfries and Galloway are at risk of being overweight or obese.

It estimates a third of pupils consume junk food during school hours.

Local authorities across Scotland are under pressure to increase healthier eating in children as part of guidance called Beyond the School Gate.

Healthy options

It is also aimed at retailers and caterers and what they can do to influence the food environment around schools.

Licensing and planning conditions could be used to encourage healthy options in their vicinity.

There have been increasing uptakes for school meals but there are concerns that competition from shops and street traders who sell food could be damaging that push.

Latest figures from Information Service Division Scotland show 25.3% of Primary 1 pupils in Dumfries and Galloway are at risk of being overweight or obese.

Local survey work around healthy eating in children also highlights that despite an increase in the uptake of school meals, about one third of pupils consume sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks during school time.

Fourteen Scottish local authorities have already placed a condition on traders' licences to restrict their operation in the vicinity of schools.

Do you think we need to do more to encourage school children to eat more healthily? And, if so, how do you think we can do so? Email your views to or tweet us @BBCSouthScot.

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