Schools healthy eating initiative wins CMO award

An initiative which encourages children to repeatedly taste different fruit and vegetables has won the gold medal at this year's Chief Medical Officer's Public Health Awards.

Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children (Photograph: Cristina Pedrazzini/SPL)
Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in children (Photograph: Cristina Pedrazzini/SPL)

Food Dudes, developed by psychologists at Bangor University in north Wales, is a city-wide project to help combat the high rates of child obesity in Wolverhampton. Its sponsors include the DoH, Department for Education and Employment, Wolverhampton PCT and NHS Bedfordshire.

Launched in January 2009, Food Dudes aims to benefit 20,000 children over a three-year period. The project's goal is to increase and sustain fruit and vegetable consumption in four to 11-year-olds.

In the first year, 22 schools and 5,000 children have taken part. Initial research in six participating schools found that children increase their fruit consumption by 54% and vegetable consumption by 48%.

Outgoing CMO Sir Liam Donaldson said: ‘All the finalists are truly inspirational, and their projects are beacons of good practice in the field of public health.'

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