STOP obesity: ‘Say Yes to Nutritional Education in the Classroom’

5 al Día, FruitToday and Cajamar have started up the ‘Say Yes to Nutritional Education in the Classroom’ campaign to ask for the implantation of a compulsory subject on healthy, sustainable diet
Formación Nutricional en las aulas

The ‘5 al Día’ Association, FruitToday Magazine and the Grupo Cooperativo Cajamar have joined together to promote healthy, sustainable diet amongst children and to try to bring a halt to the forgotten pandemic of childhood and youth obesity under the slogan: “It is good for them. It is good for everyone.” To do this, they have launched an information and awareness campaign on the website, along with a campaign to collect signatures through the platform that is called ‘Say Yes to Nutritional Education in the Classroom.’

“The working environment of our organisations is directly linked to agriculture and the promotion of healthy habits in the population, a subject that both occupies and preoccupies us,” the organisers explain.

By means of the request for signatures on “we are asking for the implantation of nutritional education in the classrooms during the compulsory education cycles of the Spanish educational system (0-16 years). A theoretical-practical subject to encourage students to opt for a healthy, sustainable diet, which includes at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables, as well as the other groups of basic foods in the right amount, quality and frequency.”

Obesity: the forgotten pandemic

As has been extensively shown, thanks to scientific communication, the Mediterranean Diet and, particularly, the eating of fresh fruit and vegetables, is essential for a healthy diet. However, according to the nutrition observatory of the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency, only 9.7% of the adult population eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables every day, a figure that hardly reaches 3% in the children and youth population.

Today’s diet, together with lack of physical activity, are key factors in the prevalence of childhood and youth obesity in Spain (14.2%), one of the highest in Europe, only behind Greece and Italy, according to World Health Organisation (WHO) figures. Looking at this in greater detail, the Study on Diet, Physical Activity, Child Development and Obesity in Spain (ALADINO 2019), indicates that 40.6% of children between the ages of 6 and 9 years have excess weight; 23.3% are overweight and 17.3% suffer from obesity.

“To have a healthy population we want to put the spotlight on the youngest members of the family. We are aware that from the Government they are starting up initiatives aimed at trying to ease the aforementioned problem, one of the most recent ones, the regulation of advertising for food and drink aimed at minors. But we propose going one step further.”

The intention is not other than acting amongst us all from the very foundations; education and making children discover the real importance of eating in a healthy way.

In fact, according to the experts, a child who acquires healthy eating habits is more likely to become a healthy adult.

“We want to say STOP to this forgotten pandemic of obesity and we would be delighted to be able to rely on support from the public administrations, the agrifood sector, Nutrition professionals and, in general, the entire population to achieve this common goal.”

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