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Children’s diets: where are we going? Dr Carrie Ruxton Principal Nutrition Consultant.

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Presentation on theme: "Children’s diets: where are we going? Dr Carrie Ruxton Principal Nutrition Consultant."— Presentation transcript:

1 Children’s diets: where are we going? Dr Carrie Ruxton Principal Nutrition Consultant

2 What we know about children’s diets in the UK

3 Most children not meeting diet targets Added sugars86% Total fat58% Saturated fat92% Salt72% Fibre85% Fruit & vegetables96% National Diet & Nutrition Survey (2000)

4 Energy sources skewed National Diet and Nutrition Survey n=837, 4-10 years

5 Av. vitamins & minerals OK

6 Some children have low intakes National Diet & Nutrition Survey (2000)

7 Many school lunches not meeting nutrient targets Source: Nelson et al (2005)

8 UK children getting fatter English girls 6-10y

9 Government response

10 Food Standards Agency ideas Signposting – labelling that shows at a glance whether foods healthy or not Controls on food advertising to children Action to reduce salt in products by setting targets for industry Regulations for school meal caterers Regulations for schools e.g. vending, tuckshops Guidance for parents for pack lunches

11 Signposting Labelling initiative FSA wants consumers to choose more green foods and reduce red foods Voluntary scheme Traffic light system tested on consumers

12 Implications for industry FSA wants signposting on ready meals, breakfast cereals, coated poultry & fish, meat products, pizzas, sandwiches All spreads classified as RED even if ‘low fat’. Low sugar jams still RED. Target for ‘total sugar’ not added sugar and cut-off lower than expected Naming and shaming?

13 Advertising curbs FSA wants OfCom to ban adverts of ‘less healthy’ foods to children FSA-funded research showed children desire foods when exposed to advertising Industry claims that children respond to category advertising but don’t increase overall intakes OfCom put ideas out to consultation, including partial and full bans Response and decision awaited

14 Nutrient profiling Formula: ‘A’ points for energy, saturated fat, added sugar, salt MINUS ‘C’ points for fruit, veg, nuts, protein, fibre Food classified as ‘less healthy’ if final score >=4 Beverage classified as ‘less healthy’ if final score >=1

15 Implications for industry Advertising curbs will most affect confectionery, breakfast cereals, soft drinks and fast foods FSA recommended that all forms of marketing addressed e.g. texts, websites, promotions Opportunity for companies with healthier product ranges

16 Other policies influencing children’s food

17 School Fruit & Vegetable Scheme 4-6 year olds 1 piece of fruit or veg per day in term-time Evaluation showed no long-term benefits Now being re- evaluated

18 Fruit & veg evaluation BaselinePhase 1Phase 2 Fruit Fruit juice Vegetables Fruit & veg Snacks/desserts F&V at home F&V at school * * * * * * Statistically different from baseline

19 England, Wales, Northern Ireland School Food Trust to provide leadership Ongoing revision of school lunch standards including pack lunch targets Ofsted to monitor quality of meals Training for school caterers Free fruit & vegetable scheme Tuck shop and vending policies Guidelines on packed lunches for parents

20 Scotland Hungry for Success Active Schools Scottish Diet Action Plan Physical activity strategy

21 Republic of Ireland Voluntary food & nutrition guidelines for primary schools introduced 2003 Emphasis on health promotion and the Food Pyramid Few Irish children take school lunches Fruit and veg promotion via Food Dudes

22 Conclusions Children’s diets need improving but they are not as bad as the media make out Plenty of new Govt initiatives aimed at restricting and re-directing children’s food choices Threats and opportunities for industry


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