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Saturday, October 01, 2005

The things that they say (one)

The Guardian this morning reports that the biggest union for headteachers is holding a conference sponsored by fast-food giants McDonald's, just days after the education secretary, Ruth Kelly, banned burgers, fizzy drinks and junk food from school canteens.

At least NAHT general secretary, Mick Brooks, has the grace to admit that there has been some concern among his members about the sponsorship deal but then slips into spin mode in an attempt to justify the indefensible.

"We have been considering our policy in relation to this, especially in the light of the focus on healthy school meals," said Mr Brooks. "But after meeting McDonald's UK director, we were convinced that they are trying to offer healthier choices."

The spokesperson from McDonalds however cannot see what all the fuss is about:

"There is no reason why you can't eat at McDonald's as part of a balanced diet. Our children's menu has 108 combinations, 76 of which contain at least one of the recommended five-a-day fruit or vegetable portions."

This statement is so full of holes that it is difficult to know where to start. Suffice to say that even if a youngster chose one of the 76 combinations that contained at least one fruit or vegetable portion it is likely that the remaining contents of that meal would not be part of any nutritionist's idea of a balanced diet. Somehow I am unconvinced by the explanation.
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