Kiwi Polemicist

July 12, 2009

• School Food Trust wants to change the diet of a nation

The comments button is at the bottom right of this post.

The BBC has an article that begins thus:
uk english school dinner food lunch

Four in ten (39%) primary school pupils in England are eating school meals but only 35% of secondary pupils, figures from the School Food Trust show.

The figures show a small rise in take-up, of less than one percentage point.

A target to increase the take-up of school meals by 10% by this autumn will now be missed, but the School Food Trust called the results “pleasing”.

The figures for this year were based on a much larger sample of local authorities and schools.

Results from those surveyed this year and last show a rise of 0.1% of primary school pupils eating school meals, and a rise of 0.5% of secondary school pupils [probably less than the margin of error].

Take-up of secondary school meals in Scotland has dropped by 10% in the last five years, recent figures show.

Why is the School Food Trust pleased about such an abject failure? Why does the BBC think that four in ten equals 39%? What is the SFT and why do they want to see more children in the UK eating meals supplied by schools?

This is from the SFT website (emphasis added):

The School Food Trust is an independent body with the unique remit of transforming school food and food skills. It was set up as Non Departmental Public Body in 2005 with £15 million of funding from the then Department for Education and Skills (replaced by Department for Children, Schools and Families, DCSF) to promote the education and health of children and young people by improving the quality of food supplied and consumed in schools. In April 2007 the School Food Trust became registered as a Charity.
The School Food Trust Board and staff believe that eating well during the school day is crucial to a number of government, societal and parental objectives, including improving the health, well being and academic performance of children and young people. The School Food Trust is charged with helping all stakeholders to ensure that young people eat better food at school, and has set for itself four broader objectives to achieve this agenda.

Established at the outset, these are reviewed each year to ensure they remain relevant.

* Ensure all schools meet the food based and nutrient based standards for lunch and non-lunch food.

* Increase the take-up of school meals.

* Reduce diet-related inequalities in childhood through food education and school based initiatives.

* Improve food skills through food education, and school and community initiatives.
We believe that it is important to engage all parties in such a way that they support and influence changed behaviour in other stakeholders.

Translation: the SFT is an instrument of the nanny state, which assumes that it has the right to oversee the health of every child when in fact children are the sole responsibility of their parents. Their assumption that they are trying to achieve “societal and parental objectives” is grossly arrogant, although they are accurate when they say that they are trying to achieve government objectives. Note the use of the word “inequalities”, which is a sure sign of a Socialist/Marxist agenda.

The title of this post is “School Food Trust wants to change the diet of a nation”. Where did I get that from? Well, in a video that’s part of the BBC article the SFT chair says “You can’t change the diet of a nation in ten minutes”. The state has no business trying to change the diet of a nation, so it should butt out and mind its own business.

What do you think about the agenda of the School Food Trust?

Related posts:

Sue Kedgely can’t force people to live healthy lives

“Food police” on the streets of England (Part 1)

“Food police” on the streets of England (Part 2)




  1. The child obesity rate has triped over the last 3 decades. It’s nice to see that some changes are finally being made.

    Comment by Paul — July 14, 2009 @ 3:52 am

    • Paul: I too would be happy to see some dietary changes, if those changes were made by parents and not the nanny state.

      Besides which, the dietary recommendations given by state health organisations have many flaws.

      Comment by Kiwi Polemicist — July 14, 2009 @ 10:08 am

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