Blimey, this is a bit desperate isn’t it?

One of Britain’s top doctors has warned that children’s health is being damaged because academies and free schools are allowed to opt out of serving healthy lunches to their pupils.

Two million children at such schools are now at risk of exposure to unhealthy foods as a result of the coalition government’s divisive and “irresponsible” policy, which is undermining the fight against childhood obesity, Professor Terence Stephenson told the Observer.

Stephenson, chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AoMRC) – the professional body for the UK’s 250,000 working doctors – launched a sharply worded attack on government inaction over Britons’ dangerously expanding waistlines. He also accused academies and free schools – which need not comply with the same nutrient-based standards for pupils’ lunches as grant-maintained schools – of setting young people a bad example.

“It’s damaging children’s health,” he said. “Allowing children in academies and free schools to be exposed to unhealthy choices, unhealthy foods and unhealthy diets when there’s still huge concern in this country about obesity in children is definitely a backward step. Too many schools have been allowed to withdraw from this excellent, evidence-based system,” said Stephenson, a leading paediatrician.


Once people have tasted power they really don’t like giving it up, do they?

26 thoughts on “Blimey, this is a bit desperate isn’t it?”

  1. So Much For Subtlety

    Especially as the leading cause of obesity seems to be listening to the government’s dietary advice.

    F**k ’em all. Let’s make sure the hemp is 100% organic.

  2. This doctor claims children’s health “is” being damaged.

    Elsewhere the article quotes a survey saying that although academies “could” opt out of healthy eating guidelines practically none has actually done so.

    “A survey by the Children’s Food Trust found 99% of academies have voluntarily agreed to follow the food standards.”

  3. Teaching children to eat healthily is a perfectly valid aspiration for an educational syllabus. My experiences as a Chair of Governors in a multi-ethnic school taught me that such an educational aim runs slap-bang into multi-culti politics. Different cultures have different views on what constitutes healthy eating, quite apart from the differing tastes of the children themselves. Dr Stevenson needs to get out more. A little empirical research to leaven his ivory tower dicta would be beneficial.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    K.R. Lohse – “Teaching children to eat healthily is a perfectly valid aspiration for an educational syllabus.”

    In what sense of the word “valid” is this a true statement?

    An education system that is unable to teach children to read and write has no business lecturing them on the food pyramid.

  5. I’d take all this obesity nonsense more seriously if every group photograph of “concerned healthcare professionals” didn’t contain more than its fair share of blubber mountains. I was looking at a picture, some hospital procedure, couple days back. Nurse in it must have been wider than she was tall.
    Get your own house in order, i say, before you go calling elsewhere.

  6. William Connolley

    Yup, you’re definitely desperate for something to write about and someone else to insult. Way below your usual standard.

    The stuff about retired accountants is getting pretty dull, too.

  7. Shin
    “A survey by the Children’s Food Trust found 99% of academies have voluntarily agreed to follow the food standards.”
    Too many schools have been allowed to withdraw from this excellent, evidence-based system,” said Stephenson, a leading paediatrician.

    Almost as if that ‘evidence-based system’ was a pack of lies.

  8. When I read the ramblings of these sort of “top doctors”, I am reminded that the only thing they came top in was planting their bums, with utmost dedication, on the chairs of any committee that would have them.

    Reading the thoughts of a real “top doctor”, on the other hand, can be illuminating and refreshing:

  9. Considering how many times doctors have got things wrong…. 5 a day, 7 a day, too much fruit, not enough of the right sorts of foods, too much alcohol, alcohol levels being arbitary, alcohol being an acceptable drug while less harmful drugs seen as no no….. perhaps if we listened to dieticians about food and paediatricians about children?

  10. That’s really down to you & your mates in the Great Global Warming Disaster community, Mr Connolley.
    Your output of idiocy has been so low of late, poor man’s having to scratch around to find things to write about.
    You must try harder.

  11. Connolly–if you don’t like it, bugger off somewhere else–there is plenty of leftist shite on the web for an important eco-freak like you to spend your valuable time on. You will even find those deluded enough to massage your ego by agreeing with you. Remember–only 10 days (or whatever the fuck they are peddling this week) to save the world!

  12. William Connolley

    As ever your own post concentrates on the subject matter at hand and avoids all personal attack. So there isn’t any irony at all in you criticising others for ad hominems, none at all.

  13. Time was when “top doctor” meant the application of wellhoned skills to ill patients resulting in improvement beyond the mean expected of the profession rather than vacuous pontificating while enthroned on a comfortable committee.

  14. In my experience you should never pay any attention to anything said by anyone called “Terrence” or “Jeremy”. In fact “Timothy” is a bit borderline.

  15. Connolly. Why don’t you fuck off back to Wikipedia and stick to censoring. You have nothing positive to add.

    Stephenson is bloviating. Loathes personal choice, therefore invents a health scare. Fuckwit.

  16. These free schools with the freedom to serve crisps and deep fried mars bars for lunch (but don’t) have been around for about three years.
    So there was no obesity before then?
    Schools serve kids about one seventh of three square meals a day so simply from arithmetic I wouldn’t trust this “doctor” to take my blood pressure.

  17. William Connolley

    Doesn’t take much to set the nutters here off foaming at the mouth, does it?

    No self discipline at all.

  18. Like I said last time you slithered your way here, you are a dishonest creep with nothing to say..

    Because again you haven’t actually said anything have you; nothing on the subject matter at all.

  19. WC @ 0959:
    I disagree. Quite an interesting post. Btw, when was the last time you were quoted in The Sunday Times, as Tim was today in an assessment of the silly Picketty’s tome?

  20. Theophrastus – Dr. Connelly was last mentioned in the Sunday Times in 2007, when his Wikipedia shenanigans received a sympathetic write-up from peak oil crank, life coach, and home-made Y-fronts enthusiast John-Paul Flintoff.

    And I’m not even joking about the Y-fronts.

  21. You should try the school dinners of 1948 era – very sturdy food served up by large women with very large arms – so no funny/clever talk. About half a crown a week I think it was.
    And we all grew up to be both tall and hnsome.

  22. Bloke in Costa Rica

    Dunno if it’s true or not, but rumour had it that at my very expensive public school in the 80’s the food budget per pupil per day was £1.20. The grub on offer wasn’t much cop but it was nutritious and plentiful. Mind you, the food at prep school (70’s) was frankly diabolical until they changed caterers.

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