UNHEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCHES


It seems that we have still not yet learnt the lesson about healthy eating. Despite all the work Jamie Oliver did a couple of years ago to encourage parents to ensure that our kids get nutritious school meals at lunchtime, we still persist in giving them 'junk'.

A recent study by Leeds University shows that children are being sent to school with lunchboxes packed full of junk food. More than 98 per cent of packed lunches (yes, 98%!) served up by parents are 'unhealthy' - meaning they do not meet minimum nutrition standards set for school canteens. Some lunches found in the study of primary schools did not meet any of the nutritional standards.

One lunchbox contained a pasty, a packet of Wotsits, a chocolate bar and a blackcurrant squash. Another was made up of a chocolate roll, a packet of Hula Hoops and a fizzy orange drink. The study funded by Flora found that only 1.6 per cent of children, or one and a half in every one hundred, receives a packed lunch that could be considered healthy. This is little better than the situation ten years ago. More than half of packed lunches contained too many sweets and 60 per cent too many savoury items such as crisps. Just 17 per cent contained any kind of vegetable, fruit or salad, like this:-


Without doubt, we need more stringent policies, as this is a real 'eye-opener'. The government has to take a lead and more action on unhealthy packed lunches, or our kids will clogging-up the NHS in years to come. Parents are being fined for taking their children out of school for a holiday in term time, but what is worse - missing two days of schooling or a life time of obesity and bad health?      

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