Trust recommends school junk ban

In collaboration with the Press Association

A total ban on all confectionary, fizzy drinks and crisps being supplied in schools is looking increasingly likely following the publication of advice by the School Food Trust

Childhood obesity should be tackled "urgently" said chairwoman of the trust Dame Suzi Leather and schools should do what they can to help children eat more healthily.

She added that obesity is directly linked to fatal diseases and costs the NHS up to £1 billion every year. One in every eight children is currently obese.

"It's terribly important that we understand the magnitude of the public health risk," Dame Suzi told the BBC.

The trust has advised that all confectionary is removed from sale in schools and a variety of fresh fruit and vegetables should be provided. Chilled water should also be available at all times.

No bagged savoury snacks other than nuts and seeds should be available, and these must not include added sugar or salt. Only bottled water, low fat milk, yoghurt and fruit juices containing less than five per cent sugar should be available.

"This initiative is simply common sense and could help prevent cancer in Britain in the future," said Sara Hiom, head of health information at Cancer Research UK.

"Children who are obese or overweight increase their risk of cancer in later life because the eating habits we learn as children often stay with us into adulthood when being overweight is a cancer risk.

"It is essential that schools provide healthy choices for both snacks and meals and teach pupils what makes a healthy, balanced diet," she added.