§ Mr. Norris
To ask the Secretary of State for Health when he expects to publish the final report on the survey of schoolchildren's diets undertaken in 1983.211W
§ Mr. Mellor
The report "The Diets of British Schoolchildren" from the chief medical officer's committee on medical aspects of food policy (COMA), giving the final results of the 1983 survey of schoolchildren's diets, is being published today. I welcome this highly detailed scientific document which confirms the findings that we published in the 1986 preliminary report of the survey and copies have been placed in the Library.
The information in these reports has been and continues to be an invaluable guide for the preparation of the health education messages that our children need if they are to benefit from a healthy diet. It shows beyond doubt that although our schoolchildren in all social classes were well nourished and thriving as never before, they ate far too much fat and that many of the older children, especially the girls, needed more detailed advice about their choice of foods and about spending their lunch money more wisely. The Government are continuing to encourage local education authorities and the Health Education Authority in their efforts to inform children and parents about healthy eating and to persuade them to choose a healthy diet.