Teachers join to tackle obesity

As national obesity levels in the UK rise, primary school teachers are today coming together in South London to tackle unhealthy eating.

More than 70 primary school teachers from across the UK will attend the Day of Discover – Food for Thought event in Waterloo as part of a national effort to promote healthy eating in schools.

The event will bring together teachers and specialists, with Jenny Tschiesche, known as the lunchbox doctor, leading sessions on creative solutions to unhealthy eating in schools. Mrs Tschieshe said: “I believe in prevention rather than cure and nutrition education is a critical element in preventing ill-health and ensuring long-term health and vitality. “I can’t wait to share some new perspectives on teaching healthy eating to children.”

Imperial College London and the World Health Organisation (WHO) published a report last week announcing that the number of obese or overweight children in the UK had risen in 30 years from 2.66million in 1977 to 4.54million now.

Researchers found that four in 10 children aged five to 19 are overweight. Dr Fiona Bull, of the WHO, said: “Obesity is a global health crisis today, and threatens to worsen in coming years unless we start taking action. “We are surrounded by environments that market unhealthy, high-fat, high-sugar, high-calorie food.”

The event hopes to equip teachers with ideas and activities to teach children about food science and nutrition and to give them the tools to place health and wellbeing at the centre of everyday learning.

Children’s author Chris Lloyd will explore how nutrition can be taught across the curriculum with an interactive tour of food through the ages. He said: “Quote from Christopher Lloyd: “Food isn’t just something we eat or put in the store cupboard – species from rice and potatoes and coffee and tea – have actually reshaped the world every bit as much as humans.

Food isn’t just about nutrition and eating healthily, it also provides one of the richest and most wonderful cross-curricular resources available to teachers, allowing children to see the world around them in a completely new way through the everyday commodities and their extraordinary stories that surround us at school and at home.”

The event is run by the UK’s Discovery Education and Switzerland’s Alimentarium Foundation and will take place at the Coin Street conference centre in Waterloo.

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