Azara Blog: Free fruit for children allegedly successful

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Date published: 2005/12/29

The BBC says:

Moves to encourage young primary pupils to eat more healthily are proving fruitful, ministers have insisted.

Primary one and two children are given free fruit three times per week.

Ministers claimed a study by the Scottish Centre for Social Research showed 90% of those questioned said eating habits had improved.

Researchers quizzed a quarter of primary schools and all of Scotland's local authorities to find out what they thought of the anti-junk food drive.

As many as 60% of them said youngsters were eating more fresh fruit and vegetables at lunchtime because of the scheme.

It is part of the Hungry for Success effort, aimed at increasing the nutritional content of school meals and encouraging more balanced diets.

Well most people would say that children should be encouraged to eat more fruit and vegetables and less junk food, but no study sponsored by the government about a government program is in any way believable. There is little incentive for either schools or pupils to respond honestly, after all they are getting something for nothing. Unless a large number of students just dumped the fruit in the bin, of course it is going to be deemed a "success". The real question is whether it is value for money (it might well be, but don't believe anything the government says about that either).

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