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Tom Brake

Liberal Democrat MP for Carshalton and Wallington


MP and British Heart Foundation Fight for a Healthy Diet for Youngsters

October 11, 2006 2:16 PM

Tom Brake MP today welcomed the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) Food4Thought campaign, which is aimed at exposing the hidden salt, fat and sugar lurking in common foods, so children can better understand the potential damage it's doing to their hearts and health.

The focus is very much on healthy eating this month as earlier in the month Mr Brake visited Muschamp Primary School to help celebrate National School Meals week and the new healthier choices introduced this year. He participated in a salad preparation contest, and then joined K1 students for a delicious (and nutricious) school lunch.

Can Cook, Will Cook

Tom with Muschamp Primary Students

A new report for the BHF shows that half of 8 to 15-year-olds across the UK eat at least a bag of crisps a day and almost one in five eat crisps twice a day or more. At the heart of Food4Thought is an advertising campaign depicting a young girl drinking from a bottle of cooking oil with the caption 'What goes into crisps goes into you'. One of the posters is displayed in North Street, Carshalton. As part of the campaign, education packs, in the shape of giant burger boxes, containing resources to help children better understand what foods are good for their health, are being sent to classrooms around the UK.

The problem of poor diet and nutrition among children is a key factor in rising levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes. A 2004 report revealed that only 13% of boys and 12% of girls across the UK reported eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, and 10% reported eating no portions of fruit or vegetables in the previous day .

Supporting the BHF's campaign, Tom Brake MP said

"Fighting obesity is one of today's key public health challenges. Today almost 1/3 of all children are currently overweight and obese, a statistic that, as a father of young children, is deeply worrying. This is a serious issue, and although progress has been made, much more Government action is needed. The work of organisations like the BHF is vital in ensuring that young people are equipped to make informed choices about healthy eating and living."