Canada's Children Still Don't Make the Grade



    BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING's 2007 Report Card finds children continue to eat
    poorly

    TORONTO, Sept. 27 /CNW/ - BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING's 2007 Report Card on
Nutrition for School Children gives Canada's children a "D" grade when it
comes to meeting the recommendations of the new Canada's Food Guide.
    "Children need to eat well to learn well, and proper nutrition is vital
to their growth and development," says Dr. Susan Evers, Professor, Department
of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph, and
member of BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING's Research Committee. "Yet, according to the
2007 Report Card, 50% of children and adolescents are not meeting the minimum
number of servings each day of vegetables and fruit, and 75% are not meeting
the recommendations for grain consumption."
    In addition, Canada's children face many nutritional challenges. Twenty
eight percent of all Canadian children and adolescents consume two or more
servings of French fries each week and 43% of teens are drinking one or more
servings of regular soft drinks each day.
    "Unfortunately children and adolescents are not eating according to the
recommendations of the Food Guide," continues Evers. "The Report Card shows
that age does matter. Younger children are doing better at getting their
recommended daily servings but as they get older, there is an increase in the
amount of 'empty calorie' foods they consume."
    "The results from our 2007 Report Card were very disappointing," says
Martha O'Connor, Executive Director, BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING. "We need to help
children change their eating behaviours and add more whole grains, fruits and
vegetables to their diet every day to improve the grade."
    This is the second year BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING has released the Report
Card and the first time the eating habits of children have been examined using
the new Canada's Food Guide. The 2007 Report Card surveys parents to examine
the eating habits of their children and adolescents (aged four to 18).
    "Providing grants to start and sustain successful school-based breakfast,
lunch and snack programs is part of BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING's mission,"
continues O'Connor. "Ensuring children have access to healthy, nutritious food
to start the day is one way to change children's and adolescents' eating
behaviours. Hopefully, the grade will improve in 2008."
    For BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING's full 2007 Report Card on Nutrition for
School Children and tips on how to improve children's and adolescents' daily
diet, visit www.breakfastforlearning.ca.

    About BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING

    BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING is the leading non-profit organization dedicated
to funding community-based student nutrition programs in Canada. Working to
ensure that every child in Canada attends school well nourished and ready to
learn, BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING provides funds, nutrition education, resources
and program support to student nutrition programs across the country. To date
millions of nutritious breakfasts, lunches and snacks have been provided
through the programs we support. For more information about BREAKFAST FOR
LEARNING, visit www.breakfastforlearning.ca.





For further information:

For further information: Ann Dennis, Senior Manager, Marketing and
Communications, BREAKFAST FOR LEARNING, Office: (416) 218-3540 ext. 4429,
Cell: (416) 985-1516, annd@breakfastforlearning.ca

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