A new ground-breaking initiative is being launched in Scottish secondary schools to encourage teenagers to promote nutritious, healthy food and exercise.
Pupils across Scotland are being asked to create social media campaigns which will highlight the links between diet, physical activity, personal health and the environment.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scottish Government Minister for Environment and Climate Change, spoke at The Dairy Council Health and Wellbeing Award and programme at a conference in Glasgow today. The initiative has been designed to complement the Scottish Government Curriculum for Excellence.
He said: “Through Curriculum for Excellence, food education is helping young people understand the role food plays in their lives and educating them about where their food comes from. The Scottish Government pledged a £2 million support package earlier this year to encourage pupils to make healthier choices, to help them re-connect with the food sector, and ensure that they are aware of the importance of eating sustainably.
“The contribution that the private sector and private individuals make is also vital in helping our young people have the facts they need at their disposal to make informed choices for their future."
“I wish the Dairy Council every success in this initiative and I hope it will encourage even more young people to learn about food, so that they can be well informed about their food and nutritional choices, and to consider the sector when thinking about their career aspirations.”
Dr Judith Bryans, Director of The Dairy Council, said: “It is crucial that pupils get the right messages about the relationships between food, exercise and nutrition now, paving the way for a healthier life as they grow older."
“Today’s teenagers live in a world of instant information. The Internet, social media and blogs for example have opened a world of creative and interactive learning. Against this background, we are encouraging students to plan a social media campaign incorporating key nutritional and environmental messages, using a medium that they understand.”
Academics addressing the conference highlighted the need for school pupils to address issues of health, diet and wellbeing.