CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER - REPORT

10 October 2019

Dame Sally Davies has released her final report as Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England.

Here at School Food Matters, we are encouraged to see that Dame Sally has put the right of children to live in a healthy environment and with proper nutrition right at the heart of her report. We also welcome her comments that an excessive focus on weight-loss programmes and treatment, without improving eating habits and taking steps to change the obesogenic environment, will ultimately undermine the effectiveness of those programmes.  

Some key recommendations in the report include:

  • Extending the Soft Drinks Industry Levy (SDIL) to sweet milk drinks
  • Reviewing the Healthy Start Vouchers Scheme to improve uptake and effectiveness
  • Identifying ways to improve uptake and delivery of free school meals, and increasing the value of the free school meal allowance to cover the real cost of a healthy meal
  • Mandating School Food Standards across all schools (no exceptions), and ensuring robust and independent monitoring systems are in place.

You might recall that monitoring implementation of the School Food Standards was embedded in the School Food Plan - what gets measured gets done - but remains on the government’s to do list. Perhaps this further push from Dame Sally will get the job done.

You can read the full report here.

In other news ...

HEALTHY BREAKFAST BOXES

13 May 2020

Our Breakfast Box project launched last week and so far, over 2,000 children across Lambeth and Southwark have received one of our breakfast boxes, filled with two weeks’ worth of nutritious breakfast foods.

CONFUSION OVER SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS

1 June 2020

Over the half term break, the government seems to have changed its mind about supporting families entitled to free school meals

New data on how families are faring during school closures

4 May 2020

The Food Foundation has published the results of its third poll since the beginning of the Covid-19 lockdown.