Letters Extra : Tackling child obesity early

16th July 2004 at 01:00
I feel the issue of child obesity is not tackled early enough. In the LEA nursery school where I work the children have no choice at meal times. In a typical week they are served a fried potato accompaniment at least three times a week with either nuggets, pizza, chicken pie or cheese and potato pie. They see a green vegetable once a week. They are also served with iced cake and custard at least three times weekly.

This is a deprived area of the West Midlands where the school meal is the main nourishment of the day for most children. These meals are sent in and the school has no say in what is served. The children are offered a range of fruit at snack time and enjoy it.

The LEA is imposing this unhealthy eating pattern on these children in an area where there is a high instance of premature deaths from heart disease. Children need to be encouraged to adopt healthy eating patterns for their future health and well being. How can they acquire a taste for the foods that supply a healthy diet if all they are offered is high fat, high sugar junk?
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