Thursday, December 17, 2009

British headteacher rapped for keeping a box of Kit-Kats to reward well-behaved pupils

Food fads are not harmless. Here we see good educational practice undermined by them. The sheer dogmatism of it all is unnerving. There are frequent claims from researchers to say that chocolate is beneficial but these killjoys just KNOW it is bad

A school headmaster has been criticised for breaching healthy food guidelines by handing out chocolate bars to reward pupils for effort. John Waszek, of St Edward’s College, Liverpool, was pulled up by a joint team of NHS and town hall healthy eating inspectors tasked with eradicating junk food and excess sugar and salt in schools.

Mr Waszek’s methods were called into question when an auditor from the city’s Transforming School Food Strategy unit inspected the school and spotted a box of KitKats in his office. He was sent a warning that the school was in breach of guidelines which have banned such items since 2007. The warning stated ‘There are a number of non-permitted school meal items in stock. These include confectionery items – sweets and chocolate.’

Mr Waszek confirmed the school operates a policy to promote healthy eating. He said: 'The person came into school and I was told that chocolate should not be allowed and we were in breach of the regulations. 'I asked “Do you mean the box of KitKats?” and I was told yes. I just laughed.'

Mr Wazsek often holds informal 'pastoral' meetings to discuss and problems and progress with pupils. He added: 'I ask the students would they like a tea, coffee or hot chocolate and they can have a KitKat with the drink. 'That's why we have a box of KitKats in school.'

He also revealed the school had also been warned against handing out sausage rolls to members of sports team after a game. However, he pointed out that St Edward's has achieved National Healthy School Status, awarded for excellence in physical activity, healthy eating and emotional health.

Mr Waszek added: 'The motives are fantastic. I don't have a problem with the healthy schools sentiment and a lot of the guidelines are absolutely right. 'But our job is made more difficult by legislative requirements.'

The Transforming School Food Strategy unit is run in partnership by Liverpool NHS Primary Care Trust and Liverpool City Council. Liverpool City Council said the team was working with schools to advise and help them meet national healthy eating targets set out by the Food Standards Agency. A town hall spokesman said: 'We have had a fantastic response from schools, who tell us how useful this service is in helping them meet these targets. 'The government says all students are entitled to a broad and balanced diet. We are there to support schools in achieving this. 'This work is having a real impact, with the quality of school meals and food in general improving dramatically in recent years. 'Eight out of every 10 schools have now achieved National Healthy School status which means the vast majority of our schools are providing the very best for students, helping to fight obesity and building a healthier future for our young people.'


Drink to health with champagne

The usual old polyphenol speculation. NO apparent research on people at all below

IF you need an excuse to pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly this festive season, here it is: It's good for your heart. British academics have found that champagne is packed with polyphenols – plant chemicals thought to widen the blood vessels, easing the strain on your heart and brain. And researchers believe the health benefits aren't limited to the expensive stuff, but are also found in cheaper alternatives, such as cava and prosecco.

The Reading University study builds on earlier findings that two glasses of red wine a day help keep heart and circulatory problems at bay.

Polyphenols are believed to boost the levels of nitric oxide in the blood, which then widens the blood vessels. They are found in relatively high levels in red wine, but not in white. Champagne, however, is most commonly made from a blend of red grape varieties pinot meunier or pinot noir and white chardonnay.

Polyphenols are also found in tea, olive oil, onions, leeks, broccoli and blueberries.


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