Wednesday April 1, 2020

Food Packed For Children in Lunch Boxes Lack Nutritional Quality: Study

Although the amount of sugary food in lunchboxes declined over ten years it is still higher than recommended

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Food
Some researchers found that the percentage of packed lunches meeting all eight food standards was very small, increasing slightly from 1.1 per cent in 2006 to 1.6 per cent over ten years. Pixabay

Fewer than two in every 100 packed lunches eaten by children in primary schools meet nutritional standards of Food, according to a new study.

According to the researchers from University of Leeds, who conducted a major survey in UK, the lack of fresh food is to blame.

“This study underlines the role that parents, carers, the government and the food industry have in ensuring children eat more healthily,” said study researcher Charlotte Evans from University of Leeds.

“The research has found that on some fronts, packed lunches have improved but they are still dominated by sweet and savoury snack food and sugary drinks. The vast majority provide poor nutritional quality. Addressing that issue over the next 10 years will require a concerted effort,” Evans added.

For the findings, published in the journal BMJ Open, the research compared the nutritional quality of packed lunches brought into a sample of primary schools in 2006 and then in 2016.

The results reveal how the nutritional quality of lunchboxes has changed over 10 years. It is estimated that more than half of primary schoolchildren take a packed lunch to school.

Over the 10-year period, the researchers found that many children did not have any dairy foods in their lunch, and meals did not meet the recommended standard for calcium. There was a reduction in the number of packed lunches meeting the standards for vitamin A, vitamin C and zinc.

According to the study, there was no reduction in saturated fats. There was no reduction in the portion size of crisps. The researchers said the food industry has not focused on reducing the size of savoury snacks in the same way it has on sweet snacks.

Although the amount of sugary food in lunchboxes declined over ten years it is still higher than recommended. The researchers investigated whether packed lunches met the food standards that apply to cooked meals in England’s schools.

Lunch Box, Lunch, Camping, Lunch Box
Fewer than two in every 100 packed lunches eaten by children in primary schools meet nutritional standards of Food, according to a new study. Pixabay

Since 2006, eight standards have been introduced for cooked school lunches. Confectionery, savoury snacks and sweetened drinks are restricted while vegetables, protein and dairy have to be included in each meal.

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Packed lunches, however, are not subject to any control. The researchers found that the percentage of packed lunches meeting all eight food standards was very small, increasing slightly from 1.1 per cent in 2006 to 1.6 per cent over ten years. “Improving what children eat at school will help reduce the risk of childhood obesity,” Evans said. (IANS)

Next Story

Sufferings of The Migrant Workers Amid Coronavirus Lockdown

No Food: Quarantined workers complain

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Migrant workers

Thousands of migrant labourers are now locked up in over 3,000 quarantine centers in various districts. However, according to reports, arrangements for food and social distancing are inadequate in these centres.

In Banda district alone, more than 2,500 migrant workers have been quarantined in 12 of these shelters in the district.

Though Chief Secretary R.K. Tiwari claims that all arrangements have been made for medical screenings, food and stay of these quarantined workers, the truth is far removed.

In Muzaffarnagar, where over 1,000 workers have been quarantined in a shelter in BIT, one worker uploaded a video clip on the social media exposing the real state of affairs.

In the video, the man is saying that they were brought to the quarantine centre on Monday night and they were provided only about four food packets.

Migrant workers, labourers stuck at Delhi/Uttar Pradesh border near Anand Vihar
Migrant workers, labourers stuck at Delhi/Uttar Pradesh border near Anand Vihar. IANS

“The rest of us went without food. We were promised that food would be given but till late evening on Tuesday, no food was provided.

“Tea is selling outside the center at Rs 10 per cup and most of us do not have enough money. We are being treated like criminals when we are just workers displaced by our fate,” he said.

The worker also claimed that they did not have toilet facilities and were made to sit on the grass.

The district magistrate of Muzaffarnagar remained unavailable on phone and a junior district official said that arrangements were being made for those quarantined by them. He feigned complete ignorance about the workers at BIT.

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The lockdown was firmed up from Monday evening when the Centre asked the state governments to stop intercity and inter-district movement.

A government spokesman, when contacted, said: “We are doing our best but we also face limitations due to lockdown. Our first concern is to screen the workers for coronavirus and ensure that they stay where they are.” (IANS)