Thursday 22 February 2018

Jamie's menu is a recipe for academic success

Richard Garner in London

JAMIE OLIVER's healthy school dinners have produced a marked improvement in UK national curriculum test results.

A study by the UK Royal Economic Society shows children reared on the healthier dinners introduced by the chef did far better in tests for 11-year-olds.

Researchers looked at the test results for pupils who started their school life in 2004, the year Oliver's Channel 4 series launched its healthier school dinners campaign.

They found a 3-6pc improvement in the number of pupils reaching the required standard in English and a 3-8 pc improvement in a higher level science pass, thus having the ability of the average 13-year-old. The percentage reaching the required standard had remained static over the past six years. In addition, the number of children marked down as having authorised absences showed a 15pc decrease.

"It is possible that the programme will continue to have an effect on children's behaviour and health through adolescence," the researchers concluded.

Oliver's campaign saw low-budget processed meals high in saturated fat, salt and sugar replaced by a healthier option.

Oliver said: "The research results are fantastic.

"This is the first time a proper study has been done into the positive effects of the 'Feed Me Better' campaign and it strongly suggests we were right after all." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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