§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Health what action he is taking to promote healthy eating among children. 73W
§ Ms Blears
[holding answer 14 May 2003]The Government is delivering a range of programmes and activities in line with policy commitments to promote healthy eating among children. Action includes the National School Fruit Scheme, the Food in Schools programme and the Healthy School programme. Local Five-A-Day initiatives aim to increase awareness of and access to fruit and vegetables and this will include work with children.
The welfare foods programme is being reformed to use the resources more effectively to ensure children in poverty have access to a healthy diet. There are also ongoing initiatives to increase breastfeeding as breastfed babies are less likely to become obese in childhood.
Work is underway with the food industry to improve the overall balance of diet, including salt, fat and sugar in food, working with the Food Standards Agency (FSA). The FSA is funding a review of aspects of the promotion of foods to children. Details of other initiatives by the FSA to promote the uptake of a healthy balanced diet in children are set out in the its Nutrition Action Plan.
The food and health action plan will also pull together all the issues that influence what we eat and will address healthy eating at all stages of the life course. The plan will build on a comprehensive on-going programme of work already underway across Government on healthy eating.