Children 'Not Eating for Eight Hours at a Stretch' ALARMING FINDINGS FROM RESEARCH INTO MEALS POINTS TO VALUE OF COMMUNITY MAP;

By Goulden, Barbara | Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), July 4, 2000 | Go to article overview

Children 'Not Eating for Eight Hours at a Stretch' ALARMING FINDINGS FROM RESEARCH INTO MEALS POINTS TO VALUE OF COMMUNITY MAP;


Goulden, Barbara, Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)


SCHOOLCHILDREN not eating for as long as eight hours at a stretch is one of the more alarming findings of new research in one area of Coventry.

City nutritionist Baljit Kaur Sanghera was in London today to discuss a new "community map" of the Foleshill area which she has compiled with the support of local people and pupils at six primary schools.

Mrs Sanghera's research was part of a one-year national initiative organised by Sustain, the organisation committed to better food and farming, which also sponsored pilot schemes in Leicester and Brighton.

Among the key findings in Coventry was long periods between meals for many youngsters.

A week-long breakfast club run in May at Joseph Cash Primary School before Standard Assessment Tests has led Mrs Sanghera to recommend permanent clubs being set up at all six Foles-hill schools.

But she said: "It is important that local people work with us to improve their own diets. For instance, many people think the Asian food stores they see along the Foleshill Road mean there is no shortage of provision in the area.

"But disadvantaged places like the Pridmore estate off Stoney Stanton Road are a long way from that road and have been described as 'food deserts' by local people.

"Even if they walked to Foleshill Road many were concerned about hygiene and the possible pollution from passing traffic - this is one aspect we plan to work on with local shopkeepers."

The ethnic mix in Foleshill is roughly 48 per cent white - including a large number of people with Irish roots - 45 per cent Asian and just over 3 per cent African-Caribbean.

Many young Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani families have adopted Western eating habits and both they and the white population frequently make unhealthy food choices because of the poor availability of cheap fresh fruit and vegetables.

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