LONDON, England – A survey of British school teachers shows a large majority want to monitor what students eat at school, because they’re “concerned” about student diets.
The survey of about 500 primary school teachers was conducted as part of an Eat Like A Champ program, sponsored by the British Nutrition Foundation and Danone – marketed in the United States as the Dannon food company, Express reports.
It found 72 percent of teachers want to monitor students’ lunch boxes, a staggering statistic tied to the 69 percent of teachers who believe it’s their job to watch over what students eat.
Ninety percent of those polled also want to incorporate healthy eating into the school curriculum at all grade levels, which is just shy of the 89 percent who think schools should do more to teach students how to eat “healthy,” according to the news site.
“We know that teachers work extremely hard, and it is encouraging to see that so many of them are enthusiastic about healthy eating education and having a real impact on their pupils’ eating habits,” Helen Skelton, mother and spokeswoman for Eat Like A Champ, told the Express.
The sponsored survey also showed about half of primary teachers think their students have “minimal” or no knowledge of how to eat healthy.
The results come just days after Public Health England issued some startling facts about the prevalence of overweight and obese 5-year-olds.
According to the Bath Chronicle:
In Bath and North East Somerset, 23.4 per cent of children measured in Reception class were overweight or obese.
Of children from the area in Year 6, the figure was 26.9 per cent.
Most other regions of the country registered similar statistics, with Plymouth in the lead at 26.8 percent of 5-year-olds overweight or obese. Another study by the same agency found those students eat their weight in sugar each year – roughly three times the recommended amount.
The government now offers a “smart sugar” app that allows parents to scan the barcodes of foods to see how much sugar it contains, according to the Chronicle.
The PHE put out the app as part of a Change4Life campaign to expose the amount of sugar in foods. Government officials will hand out 5 million packets to educate students, and advertise the campaign on television, as well as outdoor and digital media, this month. They’re also going on a nationwide roadshow starting this month to get the word out.
In the meantime, Danone general manager Adam Grant said the Eat Like A Champ program is also making progress toward slimming down students.
“The concept of Eat Like A Champ is to make healthy eating exciting and inspire children to adopt the healthy choices of champions they admire,” he said. “Since 2010, 100,000 children have taken part and have adopted healthier lifestyles as a result which is a fantastic achievement.
“We hope that this year, more teachers sign up to the program so that their pupils can benefit from it too.”