Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Food Dudes" Should Be in Every School

One of the most interesting nuggets in the "critique" of our current health policy chaos by Royal College of General Practitioners president, Professor Steve Field, was his praise for Food Dudes. This is a scheme that shows you can get young children to eat and enjoy fruit and veg – if you use similar marketing techniques to those that major brands use to peddle junk food...What began as an experiment by psychologist Professor Fergus Lowe at Bangor University won the WHO best-practice award in 2006 – a success story begging to be put into action as we agonise over childhood obesity. Strangely, it is only in Ireland that children have benefited from an extensive roll out of the Food Dudes programme. Even though Food Dudes received a gold medal in public health awards made by the then Department of Health chief medical officer, Liam Donaldson, this was only for the scheme adopted by Wolverhampton City primary care trust, which aims to see 20,000 children in 91 schools take part in the programme over three years. Across the whole of England, only 2,500 children in 11 schools benefit from what are still termed pilot schemes. Yet California and Sicily have taken up the Food Dudes scheme, which won the accolade "exemplar case study for health behaviour change" by the National Social Marketing Centre in London. more

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