Children who are heavier for their height (mainly due to fat) tend to grow faster and become taller (and fatter). These children also reach developmental milestones earlier. These processes are directly or indirectly the result of nutrition during development, and altered hormone levels which influence both the visible structures such as height and the growth and behaviour of cells within the body. Eight cancers are related to adult height (colorectal, breast, ovary, pancreas, endometrium, prostate, kidney, skin). In terms of the relationship between early nutrition and later health we welcome action that will help achieve equitable, optimal growth trajectories in childhood.
School food can have a significant effect on dietary intake, on current and future health as well as the development of healthy eating behaviours. The Scottish Government has recently announced a consultation on proposed amendments to ‘Nutritional requirements for food and drink in schools (Scotland) Regulations 2008’ (the Regulations). All food and drink served in local authority run primary, secondary or special schools, at lunchtime, at breakfast clubs, in vending machines, in tuck shops, at morning break or other times of the school day, must meet the nutritional requirements set out in the Regulations. In November 2016, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney MSP, set up a Technical Working Group to review the Regulations.
The consultation paper and consultation questions are available online at: https://consult.gov.scot/support-andwellbeing/food-and-drink-in-schools/.
The consultation is designed to seek views on four key themes:
1. Increasing access to fruit and vegetables
2. Reducing sugar content of food and drink
3. Setting a maximum for red and red processed meat
4. Enabling caterers to provide a service which better supports secondary age pupils
The consultation deadline is 29 August 2018.