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All State Run Schools Are To Ban Whole Milk To Children

an unnecessary further intervention by the state.

Roger Williams, the Liberal Democrats’ rural affairs spokesman, also questioned the logic of the decision. He explained that full milk is a well-balanced food and children should have the opportunity to choose for themselves between full, semi-skimmed or skimmed. Stating that he regrets the ban on full milk in schools he said that the children should be encouraged to take responsibility for their choices.

Jim Begg, chief executive of Dairy UK, is of the belief that consumers concerned about healthy living are driving this move. He explained that many parents wanted to give their children semi-skimmed milk, as it was a top selling product. The statistics show that 3,711 million litres of semi-skimmed milk, which is consumed in a year, make up 58% of the market. Ten years ago sales were 3,269 million litres a year, making up 40% of the market.

This ban on whole milk in schools might have a problem it is expected. This is because, milk is subsidised in England to the tune of £4.4 million a year, and the Government pays a top-up of £1.1 million under the EU’s school milk programme. The bulk of the subsidised school milk is whole milk, which is subsidised at 4.6p per 250ml carton, as compared to the 3.75p for semi-skimmed milk. Skimmed milk is not given any subsidy at all.

The ministers at the Departments for Education, Environment, Food and Rural Affairs are now in deep discussion as to whether they would have to approach Brussels for permission to switch the whole-milk subsidy to skimmed milk.

But despite the Government’s drive to reduce obesity, and a general awareness in companies to cut levels of salt, fat and sugar in food, a new study shows that the nation is getting even fatter. The figures show that in only a year the proportion of boys aged 11-15 who are obese or overweight has risen from 26.9% to 36.4%, while the number of overweight girls has gone up
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