Top doctors said meat and dairy should be wiped from the canteen menu which would benefit kids’ health, help the climate and save the NHS up to £30 billion
Image: Getty Images)
Doctors are calling for bacon, sausages and milk to be banned from school menus to help keep children healthy.
Instead schoolchildren should be given vegan meals at lunch which doctors say will tackle obesity and help the environment.
Bacon and sausages could be swapped with lentil bolognese and chickpea curry while cows milk could be replaced with a vegan alternative, one expert suggests.
Dr Shireen Kassam, leading the campaign, told The Sun it is “vital” that families start making better food choices and see the plus sides of the diet.
The founder of Plant Based Health Professionals also warned that eating meat and dairy could have a “detrimental” effect on youngsters’ health.
Reports suggest that one in four primary school aged children have obesity while one in three do not eat even one portion of vegetables per day.
Dr Kassam 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.
Getty Images/Monkey Business)
“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 told of the importance of a whole-food plant-based diet where children would be free from low 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.”