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Press Release Press Release Press Release Press  Release   

 

30 June , 2004

 

 

CAMPAIGN NEEDED TO MAKE CHILDREN AWARE
OF HEALTHY FOODS’

A campaign should be launched to consult children and young people about the foods they are eating in a bid to combat the rampant obesity in the UK population.

The Community Practitioners’ and Health Visitors’ Association (CPHVA) was commenting on the Food Standards Agency’s consultation document, Action Plan on the Promotion of Foods to Children.

The CPHVA’s supports the action plan: ‘However, we believe that there must be more involvement and consultation with children and young people. This needs to be done in a way that they will be positively encouraged to eat better foods. We know already that some children deliberately choose to eat less healthy foods.’

‘We believe that any campaign should also encourage children to become more active. We know that many children have a more sedentary lifestyle than previous generations and need more opportunities to participate in physical activity.’

The CPHVA recognises that there is an issue with the lone parents or both parents working and having less time to supervise their children’s eating habits. Conversely, children and young people are preparing their own meals - choosing to snack or use convenience meals because they are easier to prepare.

The CPHVA makes the following points:

  • many of the healthier foods are more expensive than the less healthy ones which means cost is an issue - information is required on how to combine these two factors to achieve the right balance.

  • people need clarity on what constitutes a healthy option.

  • there are misconceptions, such as the value of frozen foods compared to fresh.

  • there are concerns that consumers are confused by the conflicting messages contained in the wording of the labels. Low fat does not necessarily mean low calorie.

  • there are implications for different ethnic and cultural groups when considering food preparation and acceptable alternatives.

The CPHVA’s Lead Professional Officer (Health Visiting), Obi Amadi said: ‘What children eat is not a ‘stand-alone’ issue and any concerted campaign advocating healthier eating must involve government, schools, parents, food companies and the advertising industry, otherwise the positive messages will be diluted.’

 

-ends-

NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS

For further information, please contact:

Obi Amadi ( 07780 955936

Shaun Noble Communications Officer ( (020) 7939 7043

mobile ( 07768 69 39 40

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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