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Healthy food mandated in Balearic schools & hospitals
By María V. R.
The departments of health and education of the Balearic Government have realized the importance of a healthy diet, and are issuing a regulation that will change the menus served in the cafeterias and restaurants of schools and health facilities. The intention is to promote the Mediterranean diet which has multiple health benefits that aid in avoiding cardiovascular problems, some types of cancer and obesity. The new regulations call for the consumption of local seasonal products along with the use of genuine Mediterranean recipes and traditional Balearic cuisine.

In non-university schools, students will be required to eat vegetables once or twice a week as a first course, and second courses will include salads and vegetables at least three times a week. With regard to dessert, fresh seasonal fruit is recommended, while yoghurt and other milk derivatives can only be consumed one day per week. Virgin olive oil must be used for cooking and water is the only drink on offer - no sugary drinks.

The councilor of Salut, Patricia Gómez, says that the government is concerned about the level of childhood obesity in the Balearics. Despite being one of the lowest in the country, it is still too high at over 25%. It is expected that with this new food standard the percentage will be lowered. This decree also covers hospital centers, so all schools, health centers and administrative health agencies have just one year in which to fully comply with the law.

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