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Belgian children are served beer at school.

The Guardian of London reports that some Belgian schools are experimenting with supplying students with beer to replace soft drinks. A Flemish beer club has approached 30 schools and suggested that they substitute low-alcohol beer called tafelbier for sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola.

According to the Guardian, a majority of children who took part in a pilot program in Limburg province said they had enjoyed having beer instead of a soft drink. Other schools are expected to follow suit when the new school year begins.

According to the beer club, pupils will be able to choose between lager and bitter, neither of which will be stronger than 2.5% alcohol. "Beer is for the whole family," said beer club chairman Rony Langenaeken. "This scheme will be for children between the ages of three and 15."

Mr Langenaeken cited a study showing that soft drinks and fruit juice can increase risk of obesity in children, and said that beer is healthier because it contains less sugar. He dismissed the idea that pupils may become intoxicated. "You'd have to drink five or six liters of the stuff to get drunk and these will just be 25c1 or 33c1 bottles," he said. "I used to drink it when I was just six years old and I still every day."
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Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUBL
Date:Jul 2, 2001
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