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ACT government phases out fundraising chocolates among workforce

Bureaucrats have been asked to raise money by selling sunscreen or mangoes instead of sweet treats under a new policy that will see fundraising chocolates phased out of ACT government workplaces.

The ACT Public Sector Healthy Food and Drink Choices Policy uses a traffic light system to dictate the food and drinks allowed at government functions, in vending machines and fundraising activities.

Foods and drinks categorised as red - including cake, confectionary and soft drinks - are no longer permitted at fundraisers or as rewards and gifts.

Directorates and agencies have been given a year to become compliant.

A memo sent to staff on Tuesday explained the health risks of chocolate and confectionery fundraisers.

"Combining these high-energy foods with sedentary lifestyles can lead to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, which increases the risk of developing long lasting health issues, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer," the memo said.

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"The ACT government is leading by example to the community in promoting healthy food and drink choices in the workplace.

"A number of schools are now fundraising mangoes which have proven to be very popular.

"If you are organising a fundraiser, try suggesting a novel approach like sporting equipment, fruit trays, movie tickets or store vouchers.

"These creative ideas will help to promote the fundraiser, while also encouraging healthy habits within the club, school, workplaces and the broader community."

ACT Health staff have operated under a similar policy since March last year.

The ban on fundraising chocolates forms part of the government's Healthy Weight Initiative.