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Allowing pupils to eat fast food is a form of abuse

Reports that all the efforts of the Scottish Government to get schoolchildren eating a healthy diet are failing is no surprise to me.

We live in a society that cares little about protecting children from harm although we kid ourselves that we are concerned about child abuse, drug use by young people and the influence of television and the advertising industry.

Sadly, this is a con. Our politicians, if given a choice between interfering with the opportunities for business to make a quick buck and legislating to protect kids from commercial exploitation, will always side with the exploiters and profiteers.

The greasy food van at the school gates is a mini-version of business exploiting children for profit. It is reinforced by the international food industry which has managed to persuade the average parent that quick, cheap meals, eaten on the hoof or in a child's bedroom, are all they need. This is food abuse of our children.

How is it that Scandinavians, French and Italians get their children to eat properly and we cannot? My grandchildren live in Paris, where they are not allowed to leave the playground at lunchtime unless they are going home to eat. There are no greasy chip vans. Children get a healthy, balanced meal.

Our politicians need to bite the bullet to protect children by banning the food abusers, and hammer away at the food industry to get their act cleaned up by reducing the salt, sugar and fat content of ready-made meals.

Max Cruickshank, youth worker and health issues trainer, Iona Ridge, Hamilton.

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