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UK: Food industry in the classroom

A new report from Children’s Food Campaign makes alarming reading about nutrition education in Britain.  Their press release begins:

Children as young as five are being taught in school that cheese is a ‘nutritional goldmine’, that crisps are healthier than apples and that refilling empty drinks bottles with tap water is unsafe.

Two thirds of the campaign packs surveyed had company logos on the materials in them. Two thirds had product promotions and two thirds had misinformation.

Campaign coordinator Richard Watts says,

We were flabbergasted by some of the claims in these packs. We found nutrition lesson plans about the benefits of eating crisps, claiming that colourings in fizzy drinks were to restore the fruit’s natural colour, and telling children to only eat fruit and vegetables in moderation. Promoting junk food in the classroom under the guise of education is unacceptable.

The dodgy claims in these packs are written to be taught to children as fact in a lesson. Parents may have no idea that this is happening. Our investigation shows that the food industry cannot be trusted to provide children with unbiased nutritional information.

Read the report: Through the back door’ (PDF)

Read more: Children’s Food Campaign news, 5 Jan 2009

Published on January 6, 2009 in International news