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."