More Bay schools are choosing to ban sugary drinks.

"Water is our drink of choice. Drink sachets, fizzy drinks and caffeine-based drinks are not welcome here," Allandale School principal Drew Manning said.

Other Bay schools are taking a similar lead. Waimana School and Tawera Bilingual School have both adopted water only policies which ensure no sugary drinks are sold, brought to school, or offered at school fundraising or sports events.

Fairhaven School in Te Puke has installed water coolers in each classroom block and removed sugary drinks from its lunch menu, before recently formalising this into a water-only policy.

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Edgecumbe College has removed almost all sugary drinks from its canteen and offers low-cost bottled water as well as promoting its drinking fountains.

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service medical officer of health Dr Neil de Wet said regular consumption of sugary drinks increased the risk of obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.

"Having just one or two sugary drinks a day may increase a child's risk of being overweight by 50 per cent and increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by about 25 per cent."

A recent survey conducted by Toi Te Ora on the availability of sugary drinks in schools in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes areas showed 46 per cent of schools did not sell sugary drinks such as sugary fizzy drinks, fruit juice and flavoured milk.

While no primary schools or intermediate schools in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes regions had fizzy drinks available or for sale at school, more than 60 per cent of secondary schools had fizzy drinks available to buy.

Dr de Wet said there were a number of schools in the Bay of Plenty and Lakes areas that were well ahead in becoming sugary-drink free, making it easier for students to be healthy.

"With the availability of sugary drinks typically increasing as students move up levels of schooling, it is great to see Edgecumbe College taking a lead to make these healthy changes."

Toi Te Ora - Public Health Service has been working together with the Heart Foundation, Healthy Families Rotorua and the Bay of Plenty District Health Board's oral health promotion team to support schools to reduce their availability of sugary drinks, and tap in to water.

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For support for your school to become sugary drink free or for more information on sugary drinks please visit the Toi Te Ora website.