Free fruit for schools 'failing'13th July 2007
Experts claim a government scheme to give free fruit to schoolchildren may not result in any long-term health benefits.
Researchers say there is evidence the amount of fruit children ate at home fell at the same time as it increased at school.
However, The Department of Health has rejected the findings and say the study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health is based on old data.
The government has invested in giving free daily fruit and vegetables to four to six-year-olds in state schools in England.
The study, carried out through the University of Leeds, examined fruit and nutrient intake for 3,700 children from 98 schools in the north of England during 2004 and while fruit intake initially increased by half apportion a day, the benefits disappeared after seven months.
It comes amid plans to expand the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme from September to include more products and indications that the average UK consumption of fruit and vegetables is three portions a day, which is two fewer than the recommended amount.
The amount of fruit eaten is also known to be lower among children and families in deprived areas.
Lead researchers Professor Janet Cade of the University of Leeds, said: â€śParents and carers, despite being generally supportive of the School Fruit and Vegetable Scheme, may have supplied less fruit and vegetables at home, believing that their children were being provided with an adequate intake at school.â€?
The Department of Health say it will shortly publish a more â€ścomprehensive evaluationâ€? of the scheme.
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Friday 13th July 2007 @ 22:25
Let's face it, in 2007 there are just too many goodies out there that children see much more tempting than fruit!
"You can take a horse to water" comes to mind, don't mean the horse will drink!
I think children will take fruit if its made exciting, but schools will never do that!
Its going to-be a losing battle to get children to eat more fruit, unless you starve them or make fruit exciting!
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Title: Free fruit for schools 'failing'
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 3453
Date Added: 13th Jul 2007