Knowledge for better food systems

State of the Nation report into children’s food in England

This report from the UK Soil Association’s Food for Life initiative explores the state of children’s food in England. It finds that 4 in 10 children leaving primary school will be overweight or obese by 2024, nine out of ten preschool children eat too much sugar and UK families eat the most ultra-processed diet in Europe.

Some indicators were found to be improving, including:

  • Government monitoring of food insecurity
  • London introducing limits on junk food advertisements on public transport and on new fast food takeaways opening near schools
  • Children have more opportunities to speak out on food and the environment, such as through the Children’s Future Food Inquiry, Bite Back 2030, and the Youth Climate Strike movement 

Other indicators were found to be worsening, including:

  • Non-compliance with school food standards is rising
  • A million children in poverty are missing out on free school meals
  • Children are consuming more sweeteners

Read the full report, State of the nation: Children’s food in England, 2019, here. See also the Foodsource building block What is food security?

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Europe is the world's second-smallest continent by surface area, covering just over 10 million square kilometres or 6.8% of the global land area, but it is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of around 740 million people or about 11% of the world's population. Its climate is heavily affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent. In the European Union, farmers represent only 4.7% of the working population, yet manage nearly half of its land area.

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