• Sweden edition
 
Outrage over Stockholm school butter ban

Outrage over Stockholm school butter ban

Published: 15 Oct 2012 15:38 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 Oct 2012 15:38 GMT+02:00

“I question these spreads, what is really in them? Is it OK that the kids are served any old low-fat spread?," one mother said to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN).

When the students in some of the capital’s schools returned after their summer holidays they found that the school canteens had removed real butter as an alternative to spread on the bread served together with the school lunch.

The reason for the change is a decision by the Stockholm City local authority in charge of education (Utbildningsnämnden) to make a schools adhere to guidelines issued by the agency.

Behind the decision are tightened rules in legislation regarding schools serving nutritious food. The local authority chose to make the guidelines from the National Food Agency be the guiding rule for all schools in the area.

“The National Schools Inspectorate, which checks that the schools follow the law recommend that the guidelines are followed, so that’s why we decided to do that,” said Lotta Edholm, Stockholm city councillor in charge of schools to DN.

Edholm also explained to the paper that schools are allowed to serve butter with the bread if the school cuts down on the amounts of saturated fats in the rest of the food served.

“In the end, it is a question for every principal to decide for themselves what will be served, but our interpretation is that it is completely possible to serve butter,” she said to DN.

However, according to Principal Ingela Fondin of a school in the Björkhagen suburb of Stockholm, the information to schools has been impossible to misinterpret:

“The instruction was clear or we wouldn’t have given it up,” said Fondin, to the paper.

“I can’t make my own decisions, as an employee I just have to deal with it,” she told DN.

However, according to the paper, several schools are choosing to serve the low-fat spread Becel instead of the butter – an alternative that some experts are warning could be bad for the children’s health.

“What I have mentioned before is the negative effects this can have when it comes to heart disease. But there is also research that indicates a link to cancer,” said Göran Petersson of the Chalmers University in western Sweden to the paper.

Meanwhile, despite having contacted the school and the local authority to no avail, parents are not happy with the new rules.

“Where’s the freedom of choice? I don’t think politics should decide how and what we should eat, there must be alternatives,” said one parent to DN.

The Local/rm

twitter.com/thelocalsweden

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

19:52 October 15, 2012 by stigskog
I think it is between parents , the child and the school. Nothing to do with the state. The state is a big fat parasite, and it needs to be eradicated.
21:21 October 15, 2012 by dizzymoe33
Real butter is way better for you than all that other fake stuff!! Did you know that margarine is one molecule away from being a plastic?! If you were to set out some margarine for awhile to wait for it to go bad the flies won't even touch the stuff!! Big brother needs to keep his nose out of it and let people decide what they want to have on their daily bread!!
21:44 October 15, 2012 by Beavis
Funny thing is the arla product "smör" is NOT real butter, its also contains atificial ingridients. Real butter is strangley not available in Sweden (but seemingly every other country in the world!) Whats even more odd is arla own Lupak which sells real butter in Denmark and exprt it worldwide, another example is Kerrygold, available everywhere in the world bar Sweden. These artificial spreads are far more dangerous than butter will ever be. I know many Swedes are also used to the "smör" taste, thinking its real- but every time if you have them taste real butter-they will dump the "smör" and never go back
22:47 October 15, 2012 by feathernoodle
Hmmm, the same thing is happening here in the U.S. thanks to Michelle Obama thinking she knows what's best for all children (except her own, who eat catered meals made by a renowned chef every day for lunch). The government needs to stay out of people's lives, they just mess it up. Going from real butter, which has healthy fats & oils that the body need to be healthy to "spreads" is ridiculous. I'm actually surprised anyone is complaining, I thought that wasn't the "Swedish way"?
06:40 October 16, 2012 by gofojo
Its not about butter as much is its about food and i believe, potentially the lower costs associated with distinctively non-diary products in a more food stressed world. As for Swedes complaining... well... I have never experienced a country with such a wonderful regard for children and childrens welfare ... that may explain that paradox.
10:34 October 17, 2012 by bryan73
This is a good proactive move by the government. Now that the obesity rate in Sweden has reached 10%, authorities must be looking at the U.S. where the obesity rate is above 33% and 70% of the population is either obese or overweight.

I worked in Texas for a while. What grotesque rolls of fat people are there. They shove their big fat bodies into their big fat SUVs and drive to the gas station to pick up their gallon big gulps. I have many friends there still, but I have to say they eat like pigs. I met with one rather young couple there recently and noticed they were no longer wearing their wedding rings. At first I thought that they split up. But no. The reason was their wedding rings no longer fit their chubby fingers.

I'm starting to see chunkier kids here in Sweden. Cutting only 10 calories per day could amount to something approaching one kilo per year for a child.
16:15 October 26, 2012 by sissygirl
Real butter has made a comeback in the US. It is much more expensive than margarine, but it tastes better and is healthier. Limits on school lunches won't cure an obesity problem. The problem is what kids eat outside of school, specifically at home.
Today's headlines
National
Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains
Photo: TT

Swedish town 'like Venice' after heavy rains

Torrential rains in western Sweden have left some towns submersed as water levels have risen to 1.5 metres above normal for the season with forecasts indicating that is worse to come. READ  

Ebola crisis
Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund
Photo: TT

Sweden pledges new aid to UN Ebola fund

Sweden has offered a new sizeable contribution to the fund set up by UN chief Ban K-moon to fight the Ebola outbreak. READ  

Society
'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme
Photo: Lars-Göran Thuresson/Älgriket

'Dark forces' target refugee hunting scheme

The Swedish hunting association runs a project to encourage young asylum-seekers to learn about hunting, a move which has proved controversial among some far right groups. READ  

Business & Money
American sales squeeze Ericsson profits
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg presents the third-quarter earnings report at the company's headquarters in Kista. Photo: Janerik Henriksson/TT

American sales squeeze Ericsson profits

Swedish telecoms equipment maker Ericsson reported a decline in net profit in the third quarter despite an increase in sales, boosted by business in emerging markets. READ  

Interview
'Too many concerts feel the same'
Sofar hosts secret gigs in Swedish apartments. Photo: Sofar

'Too many concerts feel the same'

Kattis Bjork founded Stockholm's secret gig scene - Sofar - a year ago. The Local caught up with her as she prepared to celebrate the project's anniversary this weekend and revealed the concept will spread to other Swedish cities in 2015. READ  

Stockholm 'sub hunt'
Sweden calls off suspect submarine search
Ships are returning to shore in Sweden. Photo: TT

Sweden calls off suspect submarine search

The core search for a suspected foreign vessel in Swedish waters has been called off. The armed forces said they remained convinced foreign underwater activity had taken place but had not identified an intruder. READ  

Business & Money
US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks
Ed Carbaugh prepares to install parts on a truck engine on an assembly line at Volvo Trucks' powertrain manufacturing facility in Hagerstown, Maryland, March 2014. Photo: Patrick Semansky/AP

US and Japan fuel surge for Volvo trucks

Sweden's Volvo, the world's second-largest maker of trucks, said Friday it saw a spike in profits in the third quarter, boosted by thriving sales in the US and Japanese markets. READ  

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery
Cigarettes and beer photo: Shutterstock

Inspectors attacked at rogue doc’s surgery

Inspectors who were sent to shut down a doctor’s surgery in Gothenburg were physically attacked and fled the premises to get help from the police. READ  

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water
A Swede loads a car with alcohol in northern Germany. File photo: Drago Prvulovic/TT

Police turn Swede’s vodka into water

Swedish police say they will pay a man 16,000 kronor ($2,200) in damages after much of the alcohol they confiscated from him was stolen, while many of the bottles they returned were filled with water. READ  

Diplomacy
US to get first female ambassador in Sweden
File photo: Athena Center for Leadership Studies

US to get first female ambassador in Sweden

The United States Embassy in Stockholm is set to get its first female ambassador after the White House announced it was nominating the Iranian-American ex-investment banker Azita Raji to take over from Mark Brzezinski. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
What's On in Sweden: October 24th - 31st
Gallery
People-watching: October 22nd
Gallery
In Pictures: Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Lifestyle
Eight things to love about renting a Swedish apartment
National
Vasa ship cannon blasted in Sweden
Blog updates

24 October

Editor’s blog, October 24th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, Get ready to read our weekly digest of Swedish news in less than 60 seconds. The..." READ »

 

24 October

Is darkness weather? (Blogweiser) »

"I try very hard not to talk about the weather. This has come after a decade..." READ »

 
 
 
National
Sub hunt: Day-by-day
National
Sub hunt: Stockholm islanders share their fears with The Local
Sponsored Article
The best options for oversea transfers
National
Get 20% off unique Swedish homeware
National
Dentist gives free care to Roma beggars
Business & Money
Get your own office in Gothenburg or Stockholm - free for a day
Gallery
Property of the week: Malmö
Gallery
PHOTOS: 'Foreign activity' in Swedish waters
Gallery
People-watching: October 19th
TT
Society
QUIZ: How good is your Swedish?
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden: October 17th - 24th
Society
The nudity... and nine other things expat men notice in Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 15th
Gallery
Your views: Should outdoor smoking be banned in Sweden?
Business & Money
Sweden has 'large hole' in finances
Sponsored Article
Introducing... Finding a job in Stockholm
Society
Monster salmon caught in northern Sweden
Gallery
Property of the week: Lorensberg
National
Scandinavia's child bride
National
Ebola crisis: How is Sweden preparing?
Business & Money
How Sweden is becoming a cashless society
Gallery
Stockholm Burlesque Festival 2014
National
How a little red horse became a symbol for Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: October 12th
Business & Money
The hottest start-ups from southern Sweden
National
What's on in Sweden: October 10th - 17th
National
Stockholm is 'best' region for well-being
Gallery
People-watching: October 8th
National
Five facts to know about Patrick Modiano
Society
My Swedish Career: A French fashionista in Sweden
Society
Swede's anti-bully Facebook tale goes viral
Society
Have you seen Sweden's viral subway cancer campaign?
National
Isis: Swedes linked to Turkish prisoner swap
National
Should Swedes be banned from buying sex abroad?
Gallery
Fredrik Reinfeldt's leaving presents
National
Five Swedish TV shows you shouldn't miss
Gallery
A tool belt, a casserole, and a book. Fredrik Reinfeldt's parliament gifts
TT
Lifestyle
Top five winter festivals in Sweden
TT
National
Sami reindeer herders win mine reprieve
Gallery
Property of the Week: Gamla Enskede
Sponsored Article
How to catch the first lobster of the year
Team SCA
Sponsored Article
All-female SCA team takes off on Volvo Ocean Race
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

977
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN