1. ITV Report

Health experts call for government rethink on plans to axe free school meals

Credit: PA

Over 40 leading health experts have called on the government to rethink plans to scrap free school meals for pupils aged four to seven, warning the move will worsen the growing obesity problem among children.

Last week, it was revealed that the £600m free school meal service, which gives every child in a state school a healthy cooked lunch, was top of the list of schemes to be axed in the latest wave of cuts.

In a letter to the Sunday Times (£), consultants, dentists and health officials said the move was "short-term thinking", arguing that the scheme should be made “the bedrock” of a new anti-obesity policy.

“It simply is not right in this day and age that we have children turning up at school with a packed lunch, with a slice of white bread spread with chocolate paste and a fizzy drink,” the letter said.

It also called for the government to do more to tackle advertising of unhealthy products, and tax sugary drinks.