If you are the slightest bit nutrition-conscious and have a post-elementary-school-age child who has a lot of freedom to leave campus to get her lunch, maybe you’ll want to sit down before you read this.
The article “School ‘Lunch Diaries’ Reveal Chronic Picture of Nation’s Diet” from the Scotsman concerns a university researcher who asked Scottish kids aged 12 to 14 to keep a diary of what they had for lunch each day. The children were allowed to leave campus and visit local shops to gather their lunches.
Basically, the kids were buying solely junk food, with the diaries reading like a confessional from a binge-eaters anonymous meeting:
A 175g bag of Licorice Allsorts; two rolls and butter; a packet of Crisps; a caramel shortbread; a jam doughnut; 500ml of fizzy orange drink.
None of the children ate vegetables, and only a couple chose fruit. Most of them capped off their sugar rush with a can (or sometimes two) of Irn-Bru, a Scottish soda that in its native form is banned in the United States (although a reformulated version will hit the shelves here soon).