Junkfood Science: Banning lunches from home

July 15, 2008

Banning lunches from home

Kids, Mommy and Daddy don’t know what’s best for you. What an unsettling message that must be for little kids.

School administrators in Childwall hope to convince people that they know better what primary school children should eat than their parents. The Liverpool Echo reports today that King David primary school is banning lunches packed from home because, according to the chairman of governors, the lunches are unhealthful. The rationale for their intervention is that it’s necessary in order to tackle obesity and improve kid’s school performance.

School to ban packed lunches

A SCHOOL hopes to be the first in Liverpool to ban packed lunches to ensure pupils eat better food. King David primary in Childwall wants to take the step because some children’s lunch boxes arrive packed with unhealthy snacks... Staff admit the move is “controversial” but say it is part of a drive to make sure youngsters at the Jewish school eat a balanced diet. The rule is likely to come into force in 2010, when the primary school and kindergarten move into a £24m superschool on a neighbouring site with King David high. The new premises would include one of the country’s largest kosher kitchens, capable of preparing more than 1,200 nutritious meals, ranging from sushi to sandwiches, every day....

Lauren Lesin-Davis, chairwoman of governors, said “...We are amazed at what we find in children’s lunch boxes. Some even come in with doughnuts.” She said she was “confident” parents would support the move, which is designed to tackle obesity and improve pupils’ performance in class...

King David primary’s plans were today backed by the Child Growth Foundation, an obesity prevention charity. Chairman Tam Fry said: “If parents send in rubbish in lunch boxes, then the school has got to ban them.” King David primary’s plans were unveiled ahead of a visit from School Food Trust chairwoman Prue Leith tomorrow.

For readers unfamiliar with School Food Trust, it’s an independent registered Charity, established through $30 million (USD) in funding from the Dept. of Education and Skills. It was created in response to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s program critical of what school kids eat and most of its Board members are with food and catering-related interests, as are its corporate sponsors. The Trust is charged with helping its stakeholders “increase take-up of school meals,” under the pretext of ensuring school foods meet its quality and nutrition standards.

According to its website: “The School Food Trust Board and staff believe that eating well during the school day is crucial to a number of government, societal and parental objectives... Improved nutrition and food habits...are an important part of addressing the need to reduce the number of overweight and obese children. Since poorer eating is regularly associated with low income, improving food in schools can help address children’s poverty.”

The regulation would go into effect as the school moves into its new digs, costing $48 million (USD), which will house the country’s largest kosher kitchens. Imagine being able to make a law eliminating competing products and convince people it’s for the children.

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