Nuffield Institute has been awarded a £500,000
contract to assess the impact of the National
School Fruit Scheme, a lottery-funded initiative
to encourage children to eat more fruit and
Under the scheme, funded by the New Opportunities
Fund, every child aged between four and six
is entitled to a portion of fruit a day.
Research teams led by Joan Ransley and Janet
Cade will assess the impact of the scheme
on dietary patterns and attitudes among the
pupils. The assessment will use simple tick-list
food diaries and questionnaires designed for
four to seven-year-olds.
role is to see if the scheme is able to make
a difference to children’s diets in
the long run,” said Joan Ransley.
“One in five primary school children
don’t eat the recommended intake of
fresh fruit and vegetables, and this needs
to change. Eating habits formed early in life
stay with us as we get older, so if the scheme
can change what and how children eat, then
it could have important long-term benefits.”
The team will also be interviewing teachers
to assess the impact of the scheme on catering
arrangements and classroom teaching, and identify
problem areas in implementation. The assessment
will be completed in early 2005.