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Canary Island schools offer kids free fruit to fight obesity

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Canary Island schools offer kids free fruit to fight obesity
Photo: Mariano P./Flickr
12:19 CEST+02:00
Pupils at 169 schools across Spain's Atlantic archipelago will be offered free fruit in a new initiative by the regional government to tackle the burgeoning obesity epidemic.

Seasonal fruit will be distributed in classrooms along with lessons on the importance of eating healthily in a bit to keep waistlines trim. 

Ricardo Redondas, the head of public health for the Canary Islands warned that obesity had reached alarming levels.

"Around a quarter (24 percent) of our school children are now considered overweight and one in five suffer from obesity," he said announcing the free fruit programme last week.

Some 1.4 million individual fruits will be distributed to 44,314 students before the end of 2016 under the scheme which is part funded by European Union grants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum daily intake of 400 grams of fresh fruit and vegetables each day.

Although Spain is often lauded for its healthy Mediterranean diet and boasts the highest life expectancy in the world after Japan, the nation is facing an obesity epidemic, with a majority of the nation predicted to be overweight by 2030.

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