:: Wednesday, June 08, 2005 ::

Exec Scran Scam

When the SSP put forward its bill to the Scottish Parliament for free and nutritious school meals the Scottish Executive faced a problem. The policy was popular and it was backed by ample scientific evidence and studies of other countries that showed that it worked. Providing universal benefits always increases the uptake levels. So more kids would have been getting school meals and those meals would have been healthier. The policy was also remarkably cheap, a drop in the ocean of the Executive's budget.

The Scottish Executive had to defeat the bill but also had to try to incorporate some aspects of it into their programme. So they kept the healthy bit and dumped the free bit. Today we had a report on how this plan has gone. There is some good news, food standards have improved, the food is healthier and those kids who take it are more likely to enjoy it. But the bad news is that general uptake is down. "Figures show that the overall school meal uptake went down from 49% to 47%, compared to a study the previous year." It is clear that to get kids eating the healthy meals, to get them away from the chip shop, we need to make those meals free.

'Supersize Me' director Morgan Spurlock gives an interview in the Guardian today where he talks about the impact of Jamie Oliver's campaign to improve nutrition in schools. He says "I appreciate that in this country a national conversation has begun about the food you eat, but there's a big difference between having a conversation and action. There have obviously been steps here to change what is happening in schools, which is certainly a positive step, but this needs to continue. Jamie Oliver won't be there every day."

The next step is free, nutritious school meals.

:: Alister | 10:09 am | save this page to del.icio.us Save This Page | permalink⊕ | |


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