CTV Atlantic - Debate over the Food and Nutrition Policy
Dr. Sara Kirk, principle investigator for CLASS II, debates the merits of Nova Scotia’s Food and Nutrition Policy with a parent from a local school. Parents began to express concerns after being reminded that unhealthy fundraisers, such as cake walks are not in line with the School Policy.
New research from the Children’s Lifestyle And School-performance Study (CLASS) tells us that children’s health has not improved over the past eight years. Childhood obesity rates have continued to rise and only one third of students are meeting current nutrition recommendations. Furthermore, 91% of parents were aware of the Food and Nutrition Policy and almost all of these parents thought it was important. If this is the case, then why aren’t more school communities changing the “norm” and thinking differently about how funds can be raised and celebrations can be shared without relying on unhealthy foods? We cannot expect our children to lead long, healthy and prosperous lives if we do not make a radical shift in our cultural norms and associated behaviours. We need to start connecting the dots and make the “healthy choice the easy choice” by promoting and reinforcing healthy behaviours in our schools. Parents are a key partner in this and their support is essential to the success of the policy and the future health of our children.