4 February 2016 -new FRC report: School Neighbourhoods and Young People’s Food Choices

There is a new paper on the Food Research Collaboration website – Within Arm’s Reach: School Neighbourhoods and Young People’s Food Choices, written by Jan Moorhouse, Ariadne Kapetanaki and Wendy Wills.

You can download the paper here

The website has the following summary:

‘What factors underpin young people’s food and drink purchases in the vicinity of schools, on the way to and from school, and during the school day? There has been much written about school meals and their impact on children’s health but in this briefing paper we focus on the factors that inform food and drink purchasing by young people in the vicinity of school. This paper presents the state of knowledge concerning the school neighbourhood food and drink environment and its potential impact on young people’s food and drink choices.

In recent years much has been done to improve school meals and the limited availability of some popular but less healthy foods in secondary schools may have resulted in unintended consequences. Many young people are turning to fast food outlets, supermarkets and convenience stores outside school to buy their lunch, which can represent 23% of their daily food intake. Peer pressure coupled with perceptions that eating healthily isn’t ‘cool’ may also be contributory factors.

The researchers involved in this study argue that food outlets could offer ‘supersize’ promotions for healthy foods and not just for items such as crisps and sugary drinks to help drive down obesity. School cafeterias should provide a better dining experience – a crucial factor in improving young people’s food purchasing habits. Their need to be with friends is of vital importance and cafeterias need to do more to be seen as an acceptable social space, whilst promoting ‘tasty’ rather than ‘healthy’ food’.

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10 June 2015 – new FRC briefing paper: ‘Should the UK be concerned about sugar?’

The Food Research Collaboration  has published a new briefing paper today – “Should the UK be concerned about sugar?’ Written by Victoria Schoen and Tim Lang, the report argues that the UK Government must take a leading role in tackling imminent global problems associated with the sugar trade.

Professor Tim Lang said: “We need to end our ex-colonial sugar reliance and it is time the bigger picture was addressed, fair and square.” Dr Victoria Schoen added: “Overarching all of this is the fact that sugar consumption the world over needs to fall because of high and rising rates of obesity and overweight. In the UK, the costs to the NHS of these problems are substantial and increasing.”

The paper provides an overview of the global sugar trade and evaluates the policy options available to the UK.

You can read it here