The Director of Public Health of Scotland’s largest NHS Board is behind Renfrewshire Council’s decision to restrict the sale of fast foods near schools.
Linda de Caestecker, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health welcomed the amendments to the conditions of street traders' licences which will allow the restriction of the sale of food and drink near schools before or after school hours and during school lunch breaks.
Dr de Caestecker said: “With one in every five children in Primary One classed as overweight in health reviews last year I am delighted Renfrewshire Council is committed to improving the health of local children and this is another step in encouraging children towards a healthier diet.
“We have already got an enormous range of activities available in local schools - from learning programmes like Eat Well to Do Well - a health promotion pack planned by dieticians and delivered by teachers - through to very practical steps like the breakfast clubs that give children a healthy start to the day.
“Restricting the sale of fast foods near schools will further enhance the work both ourselves and Renfrewshire Council are doing to improve children’s diets and keep local children healthy.”
Many more healthy eating initiatives for Renfrewshire’s children are carried out in partnership with local schools and nurseries, including the provision of free fruit and the Hungry for Success school meals programme.
David Leese, Director of Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership (CHP) says joint working is fundamental.
He said: “We have been working closely with Renfrewshire Council over the past 18 months to ensure we have a better understanding of the picture of health locally. Our work together to improve the health and wellbeing of children is central to this.
“Childhood obesity affects too many children in Renfrewshire and the CHP is committed to doing all it can to reducing this problem. This step by the Council is welcomed by Health and is an important one as we all want to do the right thing for our children and by working together we can do a great deal to keep them healthy.”
Notes to Editors
Figures recently released by ISD Scotland show that 20% of all the Renfrewshire children whose health was reviewed in Primary One between 2006-2007 were overweight. Included among the 20% were 8% classed as obese and 4.6% classed as severely obese.
Many healthy eating initiatives for Renfrewshire’s children are carried out in partnership with local schools and nurseries, including the provision of free fruit and the Hungry for Success school meals programme.
Work is also ongoing with very young children in nurseries. The Eat Well to Play Well programme aims to educate very young children on the basic health messages of preventing obesity by eating healthily and enjoying physical activity.
For further information contact 0141 201 4429.