‘Push healthy foods’ at school

School canteens must become more creative in selling healthier foods if the growth in the number of cases of childhood obesity is to be arrested.

This is according to programme manager of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, Francine Charles, who said poor nutrition and a lack of physical activity were factors in childhood obesity, though there was no official measurement.

She said while physical education was a part of every school curriculum, many older children appeared to lose interest. It was therefore important for the message of healthy eating and physical activity to begin at home as well as the importance of extra-curricular activities.

Charles said unhealthy foods were more heavily marketed but sometimes healthier alternatives were right next to them on the supermarket shelves, and it just took paying greater attention to the labels.

Heart & Stroke chief executive officer Michelle Daniel said it was all about dialogue with the vendors to see what their challenges were as the foundation was not about disadvantaging anyone or causing them to lose profits.