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  1. ITV Report

Nursery serves no-added-sugar meals to fight obesity epidemic

Providing the right nutrition for young children can be increasingly difficult- particularly given the volume of food and drinks packed with high sugar content. But one nursery in Taunton is working hard to make sure their children have a healthy lunch in a bid to combat childhood obesity.

This week, a series of special reports has shown the growing nature of the problem - with over a fifth of children overweight or obese by the time they start school.

It means that as a country we're bringing up a generation of children at a far greater risk of developing weight-related health problems such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers.

With increasingly cheap technology children today are leading far more sedentary lifestyles than 40 years ago - watching TV and playing video games have largely replaced games of tag or football.

Children used to be far more active as a whole. Credit: British Pathe

Food is also a problem - with high salt, sugar and saturated fat levels. However, one nursery in Taunton is taking steps to make sure their children are all eating healthily - they've taken added sugar off the menu.

We're trying to help the children become healthier, fitter and happier so that when they go to school they are not going to be obese so they can move around, they're more able to do different things and they're not being restricted by their weight.

– DIANE WYCHERLEY, TOPS DAY NURSERY
Chicken and rice were on the menu at the nursery. Credit: ITV News

The nursery says it's determined the children will leave with a lifelong love of nutritious food.

Last week the Chancellor said 'he who would not stand by while our children became obese' when he revealed what was for many the long awaited new levy on soft drinks.

Public Health Cornwall has welcomed the sugar tax, but says more needs to be done to address things such as advertising and portion sizes.

Torbay nutritionist Hazel Pelham says she'd like to see more focus on what food our children should be eating rather than demonising certain foods.

I think that fear is a really bad motivator - it's very commendable that the Government wants to encourage people to eat better, but a lot of it is very negative, a lot of it is 'don't do this', 'don't eat that'.

I'd like to see a more positive approach.

– HAZEL PELHAM, *wwcmoscg [A] 3:10 - 3:18 Name Strap Hazel Pelham Devon Nutrition

But that message seems to be getting across - in this nursery at least. Just ask the children what their favourite snack is:

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