The sale of carbonated soft drinks through vending machines could be banned in UK state schools, according to a report in yesterday's Sunday Times.

The move is part of a plan by education Secretary Ruth Kelly to improve children's diets.

The report said that junk food and drinks will have to be replaced by fruit, milk and bottled water.

The proposal has come from the school meals review panel, which says the move will require legislation.

The newspaper quoted one panel member saying: "Unless you stop selling the highly branded sugary snacks and drinks they will always be chosen by children. You have to remove them if you're going to be serious about reforming the school meals service."