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Connection between healthy eating and school exam results?

posted 5 Jun 2011, 09:26 by Andrew McCormick   [ updated 5 Jun 2011, 09:48 by Tony Carroll ]
Couple of interesting articles in today's Sunday Express. Have posted copies onto the GG facebook and LinkedIn sites. In the first article the Food For Life Partnership seek to make a connection between healthy eating and pupil ability to concentrate, assering that good food at lunchtime makes them four times more likely to concentrate in the afternoon. The second article reports on how schools in the West Country have hired nurses to ring parents and offer one-to-one sessions on healthy eating, in reponse to the finding that one in three final year primary school children are clinically obese or dangerously overweight. Whilst you can always make an argument about the use of studies and statistics, some are difficult to refute, such as the fact that we are getting fatter earlier.
Whilst these types of reports would seemingly offer help to fledgling under-resourced social enterprises like Garden Gorilla, our own experience of working in schools tells us that teaching staff rarely cite issues such as obesity or concentration as the major benefit of running a growing programme. They usually focus on the behavioural aspects, and how the use of the allotment or growing area enhances the curriculum. On a recent visit to a school in the High Green area of Sheffield one of the teachers told us that she regarded the time spent with her children in the garden as the most valuable time she spent. Sometimes purely anecdotal evidence is the best!