Latvia has become the first European Union country to ban the sale of carbonated soft drinks, such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi and 7-Up, in its state-run schools and nurseries.

Strictly speaking, the health ministry prohibition covers all drinks containing artificial additives including colourings, flavourings, preservatives, caffeine, and amino-acids sold in state schools.

Vending machines and kiosks will replace the banned drinks with fruit juice (unsweetened), milk and mineral water. Students can bring banned drinks to school with them, but the Latvian government is requiring teachers to persuade them to switch to healthier alternatives.

The move follows a series of similar bans in the US.