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Boris Johnson wants school children to grow their own dinners

26 January 2010

‘Grow your own school dinners' is Mayor of London Boris Johnson's suggestion to help tackle childhood obesity in the capital.

Nearly one in four children in the city is classed as obese. This figure rises to one in three by the time they are aged 11.

Fast food exclusion zones around schools and in areas with obesity problem was also an idea put forward by the Mayor, according to the Evening Standard.

Johnson said children should instead be encouraged to develop a healthy interest in food by growing their own in school. He added: "Many youngsters are unaware of the magic of seeing a seed flourish into a nourishing item you can eat.

"If schools can help create mini-farms we could cultivate a nation of enthused Jamie Olivers."

The proposals, in a report by London Metropolitan University and City University of New York, include limiting the number of hot food takeaways in shopping centres, residential areas or within 400 metres of schools and parks, through the use of planning rules.

The study, launched at City Hall yesterday, also suggested Johnson lobby the Government to tax unhealthy products such as sweets, crisps and fizzy drinks.

Johnson said: "I want to take on the fast food companies who mercilessly lure children into excessive calorie consumption. Instead of junk snacks let's encourage kids to grow their own food.

"A superb 2012 legacy for London would be the obliteration of childhood obesity."

Fast-food firms in Essex face £1,000 fat tax >>

Boris Johnson outlines plan to boost economy during 2012 Olympics >>

Recession fuels 8% growth in UK fast-food industry >>

By Janie Stamford

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