Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Packed lunches should be banned because they're making children fat, claim British government advisers

Absolutely no proof offered for their claims

Parents who make packed lunches for their children should stop, as it is making them fat, government food advisers warn.

Restaurateurs Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent argue school dinners are healthier than packed sandwiches, crisps and fizzy drinks, in a report to be published next week.

The report will also suggest that take-up must rise to at least 50 per cent to improve nutrition in meals and to save school dinners.

The co-founders of restaurant chain Leon have spent a year visiting more than 60 schools in the UK and say school dinners are ‘miles better’ than when celebrity chef Jamie Oliver began his war on Turkey Twizzlers in 2005.

‘Many parents mistakenly believe their child is better off with a packed lunch,’ the restaurateur’s write in the Sunday Times.

‘For the sake of the nation’s health we want parents to switch to school meals.’

The pair argue that the fact that 20 per cent of children are obese by the time they leave primary school is a direct result of more than half bringing packed lunches or buying food outside of school.

The pair’s school lunch plan, which will be launched this week alongside education secretary Michael Gove, also puts it down to head teachers to improve quality and take-up of school lunches.

‘A lot of heads will feel exasperated by this,’ Ian Bauckham, head of Bennett Memorial Diocesan school in Tunbridge Wells, Kent told The Sunday Times.

‘Many focus on a limited number of high priorities and we already have a big agenda to raise academic standards.’

As reported earlier this year, cooking lessons at school will become compulsory for children ages seven to 14 from September as the Government aims to ensure they can make up to 20 dishes before taking their GCSE exams.

Leon fast food chain founders Henry Dimbleby and John Vincent were tasked last year by Mr Gove, 45, with moving on the campaign for better school meals begun by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, 37.

They suggest parents should spend the £1.2billion that annually goes on packed lunches on school meals instead, and double the take-up percentage over five years, reported the Sunday Times.

Mr Dimbleby and Mr Vincent’s chain has 13 restaurants in London and the South East, specialises in burger, chicken and fish dishes and has an emphasis on sustainability and providing good nutrition.

Jamie Oliver's 2005 crusade led to the Feed Me Better campaign, after which then Prime Minister Tony Blair promised to take steps to improve school dinners.

It saw the creation of the School Food Trust, which saw £60million spent on education and support for school administrators to improve foods in schio


Education protects against MS symptoms

This is just another example of middle class people being healthier

HIGHER levels of education have been linked to better outcomes for patients with multiple scelerosis.

In a study of 50 clinically diagnosed MS patients, Italian researchers sought to determine whether education worked as a prophylactic effect against neuro-psychological deterioration caused by the disease. MS affects attention, memory, executive functioning and information processing. It also causes chronic fatigue and has widespread negative impact on day-to-day life.

Of the 50 patients, 17 had less than 13 years of schooling and did not have a senior high school qualification and 33 had more than 13 years of schooling and at least a university-level diploma.

At the beginning of the trial, both groups were given a battery of tests for vigiliance, alterness and attention with no difference between the two groups discernible.

They were also classified according to occupation: low skill and professional “based on the cognitive complexity and cognitive effort needed to carry out the job efficiently”.

They were then further divided into three groups: low occupation and low education; low occupation and high education and high occupation and high education.

The patients were then put through another series of tests finding that those with low education performed worse than matched healthy controls, but there was no difference between high education and the controls.

“These results indicate that low education is a risk factor for cognitive impairment in people with neurological disease such as MS where high educational level could be considered a protective factor,” said lead investigator Elisabetta Ladavas from the University of Bologna.

The results were published in the most recent edition of the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.


1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

Packed lunches are probably a heck of a lot healthier that the Pop-tarts and fake orange drink the school system wanted to give them!