The imposition of the National Curriculum on schools in England and Wales took place without any substantive consultation with professional practitioners in education and other intersectoral groups. One of the consequences of this imposition has been the “optionalization” of food skills in the curriculum. The result, it is feared, will be an even greater reliance on precooked, convenience foods which are, in general, nutritionally inferior to home‐cooked meals ‐ and generally much more expensive, a major consideration for low income families. Therefore the concern is that the nation’s diet will be adversely affected which, in turn, will have a detrimental influence on the nation’s health. Looks at the validity of these concerns in Britain but also calls on material gathered in consultations with health and education professionals in other countries. Aims to strengthen the argument for prioritizing food cookery skills in schools as one of the most effective health promotion strategies in protecting the means which families and individuals have to determine what they eat, rather than forfeiting this to the mass processed food industries.
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