Skip to main content

Parents back calls for all UK academies and free schools to meet same healthy food standards as state schools



As children across the UK settle back into school, a new online survey from the BMA reveals that the majority of parents (77 per cent) back calls to ensure food served at academies and free schools meets the same healthy standard as other state schools.

Despite strict food regulations for local authority schools in England, more than 3,500 academies and 200 free schools do not have to meet the same standards, raising concerns that children in these schools are more likely to be served poorer quality food.

In the survey of 2,000 parents of children aged four to 16 across the UK, eight out of 10 (79 per cent) also support calls for a free, daily piece of fruit or vegetable to be provided to UK school children up to the age of 114.

This comes amid accusations of a government U-turn over plans to tackle obesity, and as the government cuts another £200 million from the public health budget which will undermine efforts to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

The survey follows the recent publication of the BMA’s ‘Food for Thought’5 report , which also included recommendations to prohibit the marketing of unhealthy food and drink in schools, and called for local authorities to work with schools to promote healthier diets.

Commenting on the findings, Professor Sheila Hollins, BMA board of science chair, said:

“Doctors are increasingly concerned about the impact of poor diet; a significant cause of ill health, leading to around 70,000 deaths annually and costing the NHS £6 billion every year.

“It’s incredibly concerning that a third of UK children leave primary school overweight or obese. Eating a balanced, healthy school meal helps pupils to learn, improves their academic performance, and uses the closed school environment to promote healthy behaviours in young people.

“Worryingly, other research suggests that pupils in academy schools may be consuming significantly higher levels of fat, calories and saturated fatty acids, compared to those at other state schools, highlighting the importance of a whole-school approach to promoting healthy diets, with food standards an important aspect of this.

"We also know that the majority of people in the UK, particularly low income households, are not consuming enough fruit and vegetables, so providing them free to primary school children across the UK is an important way to support healthier diets.”



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Bad trade kills the planet.

One problem with the financial crisis of 2008/9 is that it focused attention on the banking system as if it could be separated from global economics.  It fostered the notion that all that was needed was to reform the banks and all would be well.  The underlying assumption was and is that global economics didn't and doesn't need fixing.  Everything works well but for the financial system.  Let's all keep calm and carry on.

Yet, the focus on a bad banking system hides an underlying economic malaise,  The economy depended on banks lending, and growth was predicated on debt, debt and more debt.  This was not simply a problem of the banking system.  It was, and remains a problem arising from the mythology of economic growth.

Politicians have long fostered the mythology of growth.  Growth became a  mantra.  Growth is good.  Good is growth.  Let's grow! Growth as and is presented as a miraculous cure.

Let's call this the first neoliberal myth.  The second neoliberal myth…

Brexit won't save the planet

Brexit isn't an ideal. It might break the cosy economic and political illusion that all growth and trade is good. But there is little thinking behind it. It won't lead to better trade. It won't save our planet.



No plan for Brexit The UK is  now just months away from leaving the European Union, yet still the government has no plan for Brexit. Sector after sector of British society are registering their concerns about the consequences of a 'no deal' Brexit.  The country is in the dark about what the future might hold.  Key issues remain unresolved, yet it is as if it doesn't matter.   Brexit, remember, means Brexit!  
Whether we are for or against Brexit we should be concerned that the government can't agree on what kind of deal they want with our biggest trading partner - the European Union.  
There is no idealism behind Brexit, and no vision for the future.  Instead, there is a blind hope that it will be 'alright on the night'.  That somehow a…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…