The Scotsman reports that sweet shops and takeaways should be outlawed from trading near Scottish schools to combat obesity in children, renowned TV cook and writer Prue Leith has said.
Calling for “draconian” measures, the Great British Bake Off judge warned that obesity was rising and Scotland’s diet was arguably even poorer than England’s.
Raising her concerns during a discussion last week at Queen Margaret University at Musselburgh, where she is now chancellor, Ms Leith, said:
“The diet of the nation is getting worse and worse. We have a huge obesity and diabetes problem….[and] Scotland’s nutrition is probably worse even than England’s, however a lot of [Scottish] policies are better [than those in England].
“We need draconian spending from government and quite a lot of legislation. For example I don’t think it should be legal for sweet shops and chippies to open by the school gates.”
Tam Fry, chairman of the National Obesity Forum, backed Ms Leith’s call to outlaw junk food traders near schools and said more action was needed on burger vans at school gates after councils’ attempts to exclude traders were found to be unlawful by the courts.
As a result some schools were keeping pupils in at lunchtime to prevent them from accessing fast food, but he warned: “That will only work if schools also provide good food and redesign dining rooms so pupils want to eat there.”
Do you think sweet shops and chippies should be banned near schools? Does your school try to prevent pupils from eating at fast food outlets during school hours? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
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