Hull MP backs British Heart Foundation Food4Thought campaign

Hull North MP Diana Johnson today welcomed the British Heart Foundation's (BHF) Food4Thought hard-hitting new campaign on children's diets.

The campaign aims to expose the hidden salt, fat and sugar lurking in common foods, so children can better understand the potential damage being done to their hearts and health.

This campaign comes in a week that new Government figures on health and obesity were issued by the Department of Health and as the Prime Minister praised Hull City Council's free healthy primary school meals policy. Hull's Liberal Democrat and Tory councillors have pledged to abolish the 'Eat Well Do Well' policy from April 2007.

At the heart of Food4Thought is an advertising campaign depicting a young girl drinking from a bottle of cooking oil with the caption 'What goes into crisps goes into you'. As part of the campaign, education packs, in the shape of giant burger boxes, containing resources to help children better understand what foods are good for their health, are being sent to classrooms around the UK.

The problem of poor diet and nutrition among children is a key factor in rising levels of obesity and type 2 diabetes.

A 2004 report revealed that only 13% of boys and 12% of girls across the UK reported eating the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables daily, and 10% reported eating no portions of fruit or vegetables in the previous day.
A new report for the BHF shows that half of 8 to 15-year-olds across the UK eat at least a bag of crisps a day and almost one in five eat crisps twice a day or more. And the case for practical cooking skills in schools is supported by the fact that 37% of UK youngsters aren't confident peeling a vegetable.

Supporting the British Heart Foundation's campaign, Diana Johnson MP said: "The Government figures issued this week highlight obesity as one of today's key national public health challenges - especially so in places such as Hull.

"It shows the need to focus on long-term public health issues, as Hull City Council has done with the 'Eat Well Do Well' policy that is threatened with withdrawal by Lib Dem and Tory councillors.

"The work of organisations like the British Heart Foundation is vital in ensuring that young people are equipped to make informed choices about healthy eating and living."