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Healthier school lunches urged

January 30, 2015

Government health experts have urged school lunch suppliers to observe nutritional guidelines after a Centre for Health Protection study found 99% of 96 lunch samples exceeded the recommended amount of sodium.


The Nutrient Testing of School Lunch in Primary Schools study examined the energy and major nutrient content of lunches served to students.


The samples were collected from 29 schools.


Releasing the findings at a press conference today, Assistant Director of Health (Health Promotion) Anne Fung warned that too much salt in the diet increases the risk of high blood pressure. She urged suppliers to cut down on the use of sauces and limit the amount of processed and preserved foods in the children’s lunches.


The study found 17% of the lunches failed to meet the recommended intake of dietary fibre, while 52% contained more than the required amount of protein.


Ms Fung advised suppliers to observe the Centre for Health Protection’s Nutritional Guidelines on Lunch for Students to ensure children are served a balanced meal which promotes normal growth and development.


Centre for Food Safety Principal Medical Officer (Risk Assessment & Communication) Samuel Yeung urged suppliers and the food trade to make greater efforts to reformulate food recipes to provide more quality ingredients with less sodium and sugar.

Eat Smart@school