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I would ban cake in schools in bid to tackle obesity, says Prue Leith

Prue Leith (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Prue Leith (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

Prue Leith has said she would ban cake in schools to educate children about healthy eating.

The Great British Bake Off judge, 81, who has spent her career working in the food industry as a chef, restaurateur, businesswoman, writer and TV star,
said she would also clamp down on snacking.

She told Times Radio: “I’m very extreme about this. I would have no food allowed in school except school meals because I think the trouble is, the children won’t eat a healthy lunch if they’re full of chocolate because they brought in a whole lot of junk into school.”

Asked whether she was saying cake should be banned in schools, she added: “Well, yes, I’m afraid I am.

“I’m saying, well, I wouldn’t mind a piece of cake and custard for pudding.

“You know what I don’t like is children eating all day long, snacks.

“You see parents offering children in supermarkets. They’re offering them snacks all the time, as if kids aren’t complete unless they’ve got a chocolate bar in their hands.”

The Government has launched a £100 million drive to tackle obesity in adults, but Leith said there was not enough focus on children.

She said: “I’m totally in favour of everything they’re talking about because the main thing is that we do need to have a healthier diet.

“But the one thing that sort of worries me, and that is missing from this, is the focus on children, because there’s a bit of me that just feels, you know, we all go on diets, and they never work or very seldom work, and then we go back to our old ways.

“The trouble is that we haven’t been taught to love a healthy diet.

“You can teach people to love healthy food, but it’s much easier to do it with schoolchildren because they’re young and they are still learning and their ideas aren’t fixed, and so on.”

Leith has previously called on the Government to teach children to love cooking in a bid to tackling obesity.

Bake Off will return to television next week with The Great Celebrity Bake Off on Channel 4 on March 9.

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