Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in independent education

Food for Life school pupil twice as likely to eat five-a-day

Researchers from UWE release report on the impact of the Soil Association's programme

Posted by Hannah Oakman | October 24, 2016 | Health & wellbeing

A new evaluation of the Soil Association’s Food for Life programme has shown that pupils in participating schools are twice as likely to eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

The University of the West of England researchers also report that pupils in Food for Life schools eat around one third more fruit and vegetables than pupils in comparison schools and significantly more fruit and vegetables at home. Additionally, they are about 40% more likely to ‘like’ or ‘really like’ school meals.

The research was supported by the Big Lottery Fund and looked at primary schools engaged in the schools award programme, which is based on a ‘whole school approach’ to good food that sees participating schools provide fresh, well-sourced and nutritious meals and make meal times enjoyable. It also supports pupils, parents and teachers to develop an understanding of good nutrition and where their food comes from through practical cooking and growing activities and farm visits.

The cross-sectional case-controlled study involved 47 schools and measured the fruit and vegetable consumption of 2,400 pupils using the validated Day in the Life Questionnaire. It found that progression to a bronze and silver Food for Life award is linked with higher fruit and vegetable consumption and the school award framework could “be used as an indicator for key food related outcomes and can provide a proxy for positive dietary behaviour.”



Further research focusing on Food for Life commissioned programmes that involve a joined up approach supporting a range of settings including schools and hospitals as well as working closely with caterers, food producers and suppliers, demonstrated a social return of £4.41 for every £1 invested.

Amanda Donnelly, National Programme Innovation Manager for Food for Life said;

“We're delighted to share this exciting research that examined the impact of the Food for Life programme on children’s diets. It inspires us to do more - based on the finding that pupils in Food for Life schools are twice as likely to eat five a day, if all schools were Food for Life schools one million more children would eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

“The Social Return on Investment analysis shows the wide spectrum of value that can be created through the Food for Life approach with benefits experienced by local businesses, employees, schools and their staff, local authorities and strategic partners, and wider stakeholders.”

Find out more at www.foodforlife.org.uk/what-is-food-for-life/our-impact/evaluation-reports

Subscribe to our free fortnightly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in independent education

Related stories

Annual conference to examine issues affecting independents

Why aren't more girls in the UK studying STEM subjects?

Negative perceptions

Helping children deal with failure as well as success

Pocklington School staff train in mental health first aid

Let in the light

Setting a bad example

Primary schools urged to take lead on family fitness

Creativity challenge

Coding for children more important than learning a language

Market place - view all

Britcab

Need a portable cabin or modular building?

We sell and hire ...

RM Education

Supplier of software, services and systems to UK education

School Blazer

Schoolblazer is the leading supplier of high quality uniforms to t...

Moxton Education

The Moxton Group is a specialist organisation focused in the Educat...

OKI

OKI is a global B2B printer manufacturer dedicated to creating cost...

NEC

NEC Corporation is one of the world's leading providers of Internet...