STATE OF THE NATION 2019 RELEASED

20 January 2020

Food for Life has released the latest State of the Nation report.

The 2019 report shows that while there have been some improvements in the way children and young people are eating - most notably with a reduction in red and processed meat, and a growing demand for meat-free options - there is much more work to be done: consumption of fruit and vegetables remains low, and more children than ever before are experiencing ‘severe obesity’.  

With this in mind, the State of the Nation report makes five recommendations to Government:

  1. Introduce a ‘plant protein day’ in schools
  2. Set an ambitious target for organic in public procurement, including in schools
  3. Ensure compliance with School Food Standards
  4. Ensure school meals are adequately funded
  5. Extend the Soft Drinks Industry Levy to artificial sweeteners

 

Here at School Food Matters, we are pleased to see how closely these recommendations align with our own. Crucially, the important steps that have been made through the introduction of the School Food Standards will only continue if they apply to all schools, without exception; and we strongly endorse Food for Life’s recommendation that the Government should, as a matter of urgency, write to school governing bodies reminding them of the requirement that they seek evidence of compliance with the standards. 

The School Food Standards are currently being revised, so we’ll be encouraging Department for Education (DfE) to use the launch of the new standards as an opportunity to push compliance. We firmly believe that Ofsted should be asking questions about compliance during inspections; and that DfE must ask for evidence before giving schools an award within the new Healthy Schools Rating Scheme.

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