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17 July 2000

'BAN BURGER VANS FROM SCHOOL GATES', SAYS CPHVA

Burger vans should be banned from outside school gates in a bid to improve young people's eating habits, the Community Practitioners' and Health Visitors' Association said today (Monday, 17 July).

The call for tougher nutritional standards for school meals and baby food came in the wake of concerns about the relative high incidence of CJD in young people. The 18,000-strong CPHVA represents about 1,500 school nurses.

The CPHVA's Professional Officer for Public Health and School Nursing, Pat Jackson said: "We welcome that Government announcement last week that they were reintroducing national standards for school meals, which is something we haven't had for 20 years in this country.

"We were disappointed that nutritional values for school meals were not going to be recommended. This means that young people can still purchase chips and burgers every day.

"We welcome the greater range of choice, for example, salads and pasta, with easy to read guidance for young people, but they are going to be served alongside burgers and chips. We are not saying they should never have burgers and chips, but at the end of the week we want them to have a balanced diet."

"Burger vans need to be banned from outside school premises. We are talking about healthy eating for young people and these vans are added temptation. However, we do make clear that there is no connection between burger vans and CJD - the CPHVA's only concern is a balanced diet for young people."

The CPHVA's Lead Professional Officer, Obi Amadi said: "We do, of course, always advocate home cooked food for babies, infants and young children before commercial products so that parents can have a choice and make decisions about their children's nutritional in-put.

"We are asking for baby food manufacturers to put prominent labels on their products for parents to say whether there is any offal content in the product. We are not saying there is anything wrong with offal, but, in the present climate, parents want this extra information to make their judgement. They need to know precisely the meat content in the baby food as a percentage of offal and fat to meat."

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

For further information, please contact:

Pat Jackson 0498 531027
Shaun Noble Press Officer (020) 7939 7043 mobile 0468 69 39 40

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: www.msfcphva.org

The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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