HC Deb 10 March 1955 vol 538 cc594-5
19. Mr. MacColl

asked the Minister of Education what steps Her Majesty's Government is taking to arrest the decline in average weights of school children under eight years of age reported by his chief medical officer as having occurred since 1950.

Mr. Vosper

The report referred not to average weights throughout the country, but to a number of areas where the average loss of weight was only about ½ lb. The principal school medical officers are watching this point.

Mr. MacColl

Does not the hon. Gentleman think that this loss has to be set off against the increase which was shown between 1948 and 1950? Is it not a disquieting commentary on Government policy that, after we held the position right through the food shortage, the weight has now fallen?

Mr. Vosper

The hon. Member should not draw too many conclusions from the loss of ½ lb. in weight. He might also consult Table V of the same report and the preceding report, from which he will find that the general condition of pupils has improved steadily from 1950 to 1953, the percentage categorised as "Good" rising from 39 per cent. in 1950 to 44.7 per cent. in 1953.

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