Childhood obesity has reached record levels, according to new research released earlier this week. Figures from Public Health England (PHE) show that the number of children aged between and 10 and 11 years old with severe obesity is higher than ever before, and strong measures must be taken to protect children’s health.
ProVeg are one of the groups calling for change in UK schools. Amy Odene, campaign manager for ProVeg UK, said: “Establishing healthy eating habits early in life is essential and we believe that these behaviours should be nurtured at school.
“Our School Plates campaign has identified primary schools and councils across the UK serving meals high in saturated fat and sugar, with little or no emphasis placed onto vegetables and the importance of more plant-based options.
“During out campaign we have seen members of school staff taking themselves of school meals as a weight loss exercise due to the high fat, sugar and calorific content of the school lunch. Unfortunately, primary school children don’t have that choice and for some, the free school meal will be the healthiest meal they consumer in that day.”
The School Plates campaign calls on schools to make five small changes. This includes changes such as one meat-free day a week and increasing the amount of plant-based foods available.
“We have designed our campaign around making sure that schools and councils are able to make small changes towards a more plant-based offering which will make a huge difference to the health of their pupils, the health of the planet and save them money. We are having a great deal of success with the campaign so far and this report as only further emphasised the need for immediate action within the school meal provision nationwide,” Odene continued.
You can find out more information about the School Plates campaign here.