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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   

 

29 October 2004

 

 

SUGAR AND SALT IN SCHOOL MEALS – GOVERNMENT URGED TO TAKE SWIFTER ACTION

The government was today urged to put ‘its foot on the accelerator’ in reviewing the excessive amounts of sugar and salt in school dinners in England and Wales.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA), which represents the majority of the UK’s 2,500 school nurse workforce, was commenting after research by the Soil Association showed that primary school children were eating higher levels of fat, sugar and salt than recommended by nutritionists.

The Department for Education and Skills says it is reviewing the issue, but the CPHVA urged ministers ‘to hit the accelerator’ in conducting its research.

The CPHVA director, Mark Jones said: ‘The UK is facing an obesity timebomb which will have a dramatic – and adverse – effect on public health and the finite resources of the NHS.’

‘One of the best ways to tackle this health crisis is when children are young and are at primary school. Poor nutritional value in school meals will have severe knock-on effects in later years, as teenagers won’t have learnt the culture of sensible and balanced eating.’

The Soil Association claims that an analysis of five typical primary school meals showed that children eating them would consume 40% more fat and 20% more sugar than recommended. They would also consume below the recommended levels of iron and zinc.

The CPHVA recently called for the immediate employment of 500 extra school nurses to help improve the health of the nation’s children. It has campaigned for the banning of TV advertisements promoting junk food.

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NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

Mark Jones ( 07768 737773

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

For further information, please contact:

Cheryll Adams, Professional Officer, Research and Practice Development

( 07712 678 281

CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA website: amicus-cphva.org

The CPHVA - the UK’s third largest nursing union - represents health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses, district nurses and nursery nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The CPHVA is a professional section of the Amicus trade union

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