Over 4,400 schools and nurseries, representing nearly two million children and young people, and 1,850 workplaces (or workplace teams), colleges and universities, representing over 800,000 adults, have registered to take part in this week’s British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) Healthy Eating Week 2019.
The initiative aims to promote and celebrate healthy living by providing schools and workplaces with activities and informative resources to support the five daily challenges: have breakfast; have five-a-day; drink plenty; get active, and – new for 2019 – sleep well.
New BNF research showed that 43% of adults reported sleeping fewer than the recommended minimum of seven hours on the previous night, whilst 32% of primary and 70% of secondary school children reported sleeping fewer than nine hours on the previous night. Poor sleep quality has been linked to less healthy food choices, and increased risk of obesity.
“With more and more emerging research linking lack of sleep to poor dietary choices, and the burgeoning obesity crisis in the UK, we are keen to place a new focus on sleep this year – looking into how well we’re actually all sleeping, and providing advice and resources to help improve sleeping habits,” said BNF senior scientist Dr Lucy Chambers.
BNF research also showed that 12% of young people are not sure what the healthiest foods are. Furthermore, 36% secondary school pupils said they don’t like healthy foods and 20% said healthy foods are boring.
BNF Healthy Week aims to address some of these barriers, by providing schools with information and resources on nutrition, cooking, food provenance and physical activity.