Posted by Editor on 29th October 2008 at 10:13 PM
Balls Backs 'stay-on-site' Policy
Ed Balls has called for pupils to be kept on school premises over the lunch break to stop them buying junk food from nearby shops.
The schools secretary told the Healthy Eating in Schools Conference that it was pointless banning unhealthy food in schools if pupils can buy it cheaply from nearby.
He backed headteachers calling for "stay-on-site" policies, saying these could help tackle the "ingrained culture of unhealthy eating".
However, he acknowledged such policies would not be suitable for all schools.
"There is no point in banning junk food and raising the quality of lunches in schools, if teenagers can simply go to eat unhealthy food from neighbouring takeaways," Balls said.
He added: "We've made huge progress on school food - but what goes on outside the school gates is as important as what happens inside.
"Schools, parents and local authorities all need to be working together to make sure our children and teenagers get the kind of healthy food that will set them up for success in life.
"Temptation can be hard to resist but we owe it to future generations to help young people make the right choices about how they want to live their lives."
The secretary of state also backed proposals for local authorities to be able to impose a ban on takeaways within 400 metres of secondary school gates.
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