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Expert says Government campaign encourages children to eat unhealthy food over summer holidays

29th Jul 2022 - 09:05
Professor Greta Defeyter from Northumbria University believes the menus offered to low-income families at supermarkets over the school holidays fall below school food standards, it was reported in the Guardian.

David Buttress, the Government’s Cost of Living Tsar and a co-founder of Just Eat, encouraged families who are struggling with the cost of living crisis to take advantage of the discounted supermarket café menus. Experts have suggested that the menus fall below the school food standards and offer limited healthy options.  

It was reported in the Guardian that Defeyter said: “The majority of these foods are ultra-processed, which have been linked to obesity and cancer. The token nod to vegetables is the serving of peas and one meal being accompanied by a salad.

“The Government should not be promoting menus primarily consisting of ultra-processed foods. Families should have quality, nutritious food all year round. If charitable organisations delivering the Government’s holiday activity and food programme are expected to provide children with meals that comply to school food standards, why can’t big supermarkets do the same?”

Asda responded to the criticism by stating they launched the scheme to help thousands of children who were expected to experience holiday hunger over the summer. An Asda spokesperson told the Guardian: “The menu includes hot and cold meals, fruit and vegetables to provide different options for children.”

Written by
Edward Waddell