Doctors call for schools to ditch bacon, sausages and milk on lunch menus


Doctors are calling for bacon, sausages and milk to be banned from school menus to help keep children healthy.

In fact some would like to see all animal products removed from menus and replaced with vegan alternatives.

Dr Shireen Kassam of the University of Winchester, who is leading the campaign, told The Sun eating meat and dairy could have a “detrimental” effect on children’s health.

Dr Kassam, of the Vegan Society and Plant-based Health Professionals, said: “Swapping current school meal plans for plant-based meals makes fruit and vegetables more accessible, but also ensures that children are eating nutritious foods daily, optimising their health and minimising health-related issues.

“Meat and dairy have proven to be detrimental to children’s health, including increasing cholesterol and blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease and is linked to the cause of some cancers.

“Obesity in children and young people is a severely concerning health problem, and one we could so easily tackle through plant-based nutrition and education.”

Dr Kassam said a whole-food plant-based diet would see children free from saturated fat and benefit from vitamins and minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

If the UK’s 8.2 million schoolchildren swapped one meat meal for a plant-based alternative, greenhouse gas emissions would drop by 2.74 tonnes which is the equivalent of taking 900,000 cars off the road each year.

Dr Kassam, a consultant haematologist at London’s King’s College Hospital, said that the NHS could also benefit and save around £30 billion if Brits ditched meat and dairy.

Some schools have already taken the decision to drop meat from the canteen menu.

Our Lady of Sion in Worthing, East Sussex, and Barrowford Primary School, near Nelson, Lancashire, are already meat-free.

But some parents have criticised the move and said the dramatic change is “absolutely ridiculous.”

Questions have been raised over the right to have freedom of choice and why schools had to “dictate” their children’s diets.

But Dr Kassam said: “Schools need to lead on ways to tackle both health and climate issues and educating around.

“Introducing plant-based nutrition is key to doing this.”





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