Smart Card Monitoring School Junk Food Habits

The Birmingham Post (England), October 18, 2003 | Go to article overview
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Smart Card Monitoring School Junk Food Habits


Children who fill themselves on a diet of chips, burgers and pizzas when it comes to school lunch are being monitored by an innovative system that keeps track of what they eat.

The scheme, which runs at South Bromsgrove High School in Worcestershire, sees pupils issued with a smart card that keeps track of what they consume.

Parents who are concerned about their child's diet can ask for an itemised print out of transactions made on the card listing all food items they have purchased. 'Parents can find out what their children have been eating while at school,' said South Bromsgrove's headteacher Phil McTague.

'They can get a history of how much the child has spent in the form of a print out which lists exactly what they have eaten.'

The system is designed to help youngsters and their parents think about their eating habits in the wake of alarming statistics suggesting one in ten six-year-olds is obese, with the figure rising to one in six among 15-year-olds.

'It is a disturbing statistic,' said Mr McTague, as National School Meals Week drew to a close.

The school meals system at South Bromsgrove involves parents paying a cheque or cash at the start of the week which puts credits on the card allowing their children to pay for items at snack and meal breaks.

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