Monday, November 28, 2022

British Nutrition Foundation to educate millions of school children on healthy and sustainable diets during Healthy Eating Week

The British Nutrition Foundation is preparing to raise awareness about healthy and sustainable diets, and empower millions of children and adults to make positive changes, during its ‘biggest and best’ 10th anniversary Healthy Eating Week, taking place 13 – 17 June 2022.

Sara Stanner, Science Director at British Nutrition Foundation, said: “School children today are more aware of the need to protect the environment than those who were in school ten years ago when we held the first Healthy Eating Week.

“However, they aren’t yet necessarily making the connection between their food and eating habits and the health of the planet. The volume and proliferation of information sources that children are consuming ten years on, many of which are sharing misinformation, is also causing confusion and may negatively impact healthy dietary behaviours.”

With the aim of helping to debunk misunderstandings and empower teachers, school staff and students to achieve a diet that is both healthy and sustainable, British Nutrition Foundation Healthy Eating Week 2022 will focus on how to ‘Eat well for you and the planet’.

Sara Stanner continued: “As we look to the future, ensuring our diets are not just healthy for us, but for the planet, is critical – food production currently contributes to around 37% of greenhouse gases. While the environmental impact of different foods can vary widely, there are some general principles we can all follow to aim for a healthier and more sustainable diet.

“For example, by diversifying our sources of protein to include more plant foods – such as pulses (beans, lentils and peas), nuts and seeds – we can improve our own health and reduce our environmental footprint too. In addition, food waste accounts for as much as 10% of total greenhouse gas emissions globally, therefore raising awareness about how people can waste less and reuse more is essential.”

For the last decade, Healthy Eating Week has been helping and inspiring people to lead healthier lives by providing nurseries, schools, universities, workplaces, health centres, communities and individuals with a wide range of free activities and resources, based on five daily challenges.

Millions of children and adults participate in Healthy Eating Week each year and, since it launched in 2013, the Week has received over 58,300 registrations from schools, nurseries and workplaces across the UK. The roots of Healthy Eating Week lie in engaging children and young people with healthy lifestyles and, on average, there are more than 5,600 school and nursery registrants in the UK each year.

Healthy Eating Week has continued to expand its reach each year and the Week now welcomes universities, workplaces, families and individuals to take part, with resources and activities tailored to different age groups and demographics.

Sara Stanner, said: “When Healthy Eating Week launched in 2013, 67% of men and 57% of women in England were classified as overweight or obese. This number is now 68% and 60% respectively and obesity levels among children are also rising. So, it’s clear more work needs to be done and raising awareness of how to achieve healthy eating and lifestyles needs to remain a top priority.

“For Healthy Eating Week 2022, therefore, we would like to encourage as many individuals as possible to register and take part in the daily challenges. Healthy Eating Week provides an opportunity to introduce healthy habits and, by getting involved, teachers and school leaders can help us to build a healthier future generation that are also aware of the health of the planet.”

David Harding, Head Teacher at Hinckley Parks Primary School, said: “At Hinckley Parks we are always keen to promote healthy food choices and healthy lifestyles. The British Nutrition Foundation’s Healthy Eating Week allows us to do this perfectly and enables us to build on the work which takes place throughout the year. The children learn about different food groups and what constitutes a healthy diet and are provided with opportunities to prepare, cook and eat healthy dishes.”

Healthy Eating Week centres around five daily challenges, supported by a series of informative, evidence-based resources and fun activities suitable for the classroom to take on. The Healthy Eating Week 2022 challenges are:

Focus on fibre – for meals and snacks

Get at least 5 A DAY – put plenty on your plate

Vary your protein – be more creative

Stay hydrated – fill up from the tap

Reduce food waste – know your portions

 

To find out more about Healthy Eating Week 2022 and to register, visit: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthy-eating-week/

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