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Five a day helps keep obesity away

Industry backed initiative is launched to educate children about growing fruit and vegetables, and healthy eating

Primary level students across Ireland are getting ready to roll up their sleeves and raise some roots in their school gardens. Agri Aware, the agri-food educational body, has launched its annual Incredible Edibles initiative, to teach students where their fruit and vegetables come from and help them to grow their own.

The latest figures on childhood obesity show that 1 in 4 primary¹ school children are overweight or obese. The prevalence of excess weight is also beginning earlier in childhood², with 6% of 3 year olds being obese.

Meanwhile, national surveys3, 4 have found that children and teenagers are only consuming half of the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables per day.

The Irish Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey (HBSC)5 reported that only 19% of children aged 10-17 years eat fruit more than once a day, while only 18% of children eat vegetables more than once a day.

Agri Aware’s 2015 Incredible Edibles programme was launched at Coill Dubh National School, Kildare and was attended by leading representatives from the Irish agri-food and horticulture industries, as well as 5th and 6th class students from Coill Dubh National School, who were on hand to help officially launch the event.

Agri Aware’s Incredible Edibles programme is now in its seventh year and aims to communicate to primary level students and their parents, the health benefits of eating Irish potatoes, fruit and vegetables, in addition to educating about food origin.

For more information, visit www.incredibleedibles.ie