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This section contains media releases released a little while ago. Please note that due to the long time when some of these were released images have been removed and some links might no longer work.

September 20, 2006

Fruits in School Finals

Later this year at least five West Coast schools will get to find out whether an apple a day really does keep the doctor away.

Initially targeting schools in the Grey and Buller Districts, the Fruit in Schools programme will deliver one piece of fresh fruit daily to students in the selected schools covering up to 1000 children.

General Manager of Planning and Funding Wayne Turp said Fruit in Schools had been operating for around 18 months in other parts of the country and he was thrilled the initiative had now reached the West Coast.

"We are still in the process of selecting the schools which will be offered the chance to take part in the initiative and we hope to make that announcement soon," Mr Turp said.

Participation in the Fruit in Schools programme requires schools to build a Health Promoting Schools framework, focusing on four priority areas: healthy eating, physical activity, being sun smart and smokefree.

He said the DHB was committed to improving childrenís health in this region and Fruit in Schools would play an important role in that.

"Educated minds and healthy bodies for a bright future - thatís what we are aiming to achieve through the Fruit in Schools programme."

Community and Public Health Nutrition Health Promoter Melanie Penny said anecdotal evidence from, regions which already have the Fruit in Schools programme, had shown that children who participated had improved behaviour and paid greater attention in class.

"The broad Health Promoting Schools approach helps to create lifestyles for learning", she said.

Miss Penny said the latest evidence showed improved nutrition resulted better learning outcomes and fruit were an important source of vitamins and minerals.

According to the Ministry of Health only two out to five children eat the recommended two servings of fruit per day and just three out of five eat the recommended three servings of vegetables per day.

Fruit and vegetable consumption has been found to have a protective effect against some common cancers, as well as cardiovascular disease.

For more information please contact
Vikki Carter
Community Liaison Officer
03 768 0499, Extn. 2665
027 245 9595

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