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Survey results: parents and food in schools

The research was conducted online by Ipsos MORI, between 12 and 31 August 2015. Questions were asked of 2,000 parents with school children aged 4-16 years old, across the UK. 

The survey data were weighted by age, region, social grade, and working status to be nationally representative of parents in Great Britain.

This survey follows the publication of the BMA’s ‘Food for Thought’ report in July 2015, which also included recommendations to prohibit the marketing of unhealthy food and drink in schools, and called for local authorities to work with schools to achieve the wider implementation of the whole-school approach for promoting healthier diets.

The majority of parents support calls for all UK academies and free schools to meet the same healthy food standards as state schools, a BMA survey has revealed.


Parents want same standards as those set for state schools

The survey shows that the majority of parents (77%) are backing calls to ensure food served at academies and free schools meets the same healthy standard as other state schools.

Despite strict food regulations for local authority schools in England, over 3,500 academies and 200 free schools do not have to meet the same standards, raising concerns that children in these schools are more likely to be served poorer quality food.

To what extent do you agree or disagree with the following statement: All schools in the United Kingdom should apply these school food standards?


Free fruit and vegetables for all UK primary school children

Eight out of 10 (79%) parents also supported the BMA's call for free fruit and vegetables to be made available for all primary school children across the UK. 

This comes amid accusations of a government u-turn over plans to tackle obesity, and as the government cuts another £200 million from the public health budget, which will put back efforts to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing.

To what extent do you support or oppose all children up to the age of 11 in the United Kingdom being provided with a free piece of fruit or a vegetable on each school day?

Food for thought parents graph 2