Food for thought

A Truro High School teacher has called for all students to have access to a proper education to encourage a healthier nation.

McDonalds food

She thinks that if all students had access to a proper education about food and nutrition, then we would be part of a healthier nation. “A good quality food education will not only help students to develop skills but also an understanding of nutrition and lead them to making informed decisions.”Mrs Van der Lem, food and nutrition teacher at Truro High School, believes that it is possible to have a healthy diet at a low cost however it requires a lot of preparation. “It takes a lot of planning, organization and skill. It is often much easier to rely on cheap, high energy products and processed foods.”Recent research revealed that eating healthily costs three times as much as consuming unhealthy food, and the price gap is widening, according to a study by Cambridge University.

Researchers found that a 1,000 calories made up from healthy items, cost on average of £7.49. The same 1,000 calorie intake from unhealthy food averages at about £2.50.

A growing number of teenagers and young adults are going out into town to grab lunch or dinner with friends but being swayed towards unhealthier options because of the dramatic price difference. To buy a McDonalds hamburger it costs 99p whereas a Sainsbury’s chicken salad costs £3. With such a dramatic price difference it seems obvious that people are eating unhealthily.

We are now finding more often than not it’s the unhealthier food products that are being advertised, discounted and displayed more heavily.

A total of 71 per cent of British people would consider themselves as healthy shoppers, however only 22% percent of people would consider themselves as healthy eaters. Does this mean we are trying to kid ourselves by buying healthier foods but then failing to eat well?

Government research has revealed that teenage girls eat more unhealthily than any other group in the population. The research was commissioned by the government’s food watch, the Food Standards Agency, which was worried about girls between 11 and 18 failing to eat enough foods containing important nutrients for essential growth and good health. The survey found that those among secondary school age, 46 per cent were failing to get the minimum recommended amount of iron and magnesium, and only seven per cent were eating the minimum recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

If manufactures increased the tax on sugary foods and shops take more responsibility to promote healthy eating it would be easy to make the right choice at a lower cost.

Reported by Charlie Barnecutt, Maddie McLeod and Maya Brookes

BBC School Report