St Vincent’s RC Primary school, situated in Knutsford, Cheshire, today welcomed Chancellor George Osborne to introduce him to a new pilot programme designed to improve healthy eating amongst children.
The school visit included the MP for Tatton, along with councillor Rachel Bailey from Cheshire East and Professor Fergus Lowe, Chairman of locally based social enterprise, Food Dudes.
Using behaviour change methods, Food Dudes is a healthy eating programme that increases children’s consumption of fruit and vegetables and also decreases consumption of sweet and fatty foods. At St Vincent’s, the programme is being conducted by the school’s Year 4 class. Their teacher, Mrs Bullen, provided an overview of the programme and explained the activities that the children had been involved in during trial in school.
Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for Tatton George Osborne said:
”I announced at the Autumn Statement last week the launch of free school meals to key stage one school children. So it’s great to see today a local school and a local organisation, in my own constituency in Tatton, running a programme designed to encourage children to make healthy eating choices.
With real evidence behind it, the Food Dudes programme and initiatives such as these will help ensure that the government’s investment in free school meals will not only help hardworking families on cost, but will also have a real impact in helping to improve healthy eating”
Roisin Moores, Head Teacher, St Vincent’s RC Primary School commented:
“The children have had a great time this week learning all about the programme, watching the fun movies about the Dudes, taking part in tasting sessions and getting Dudes’ rewards. The programme is well designed to change the children’s eating habits through fun and engaging activities, which provides a great framework for improvement.”
“Food Dudes moved to Knutsford at the beginning of the year and we wanted to ensure that our local community knew about the huge benefits the Programme could bring to their children,” commented Professor Fergus Lowe, Chairman of Food Dudes. “It is designed to prevent childhood obesity, one of the most serious public health issues of our time and has a wealth of evidence showing its effectiveness in helping children make healthy food choices,” Professor Lowe added.
By the time they leave primary school, more than a third of all children in the North West are overweight or obese, contributing to many chronic and life-threatening diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Food Dudes is a leader in the field of obesity prevention and their programmes are founded on a wealth of evidence from several countries.