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The annual Ready, Steady, Cook event was held during Activities Week to promote healthy eating with our Year 9 students. The UK has the highest rate of child obesity in Europe and approximately 25% of young people are classified as obese or overweight. The Government has forecast that 40% of Britons will be obese by 2025—this will only get worse unless we all do
something about it. As part of our Future in Mind initiative, this year’s show incorporated tips on how to eat healthily to promote positive mental health. Recent evidence suggests that good nutrition is essential for our mental health and that a number of mental health conditions may be influenced by dietary factors. As well as its impact on short and long-term mental health, evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Nearly two thirds of those who do not report daily mental health problems eat fresh fruit or fruit juice every day, compared with less than half of those who do report daily mental health problems. This pattern is similar for fresh vegetables and salad. Those who report some level of mental health problem also eat fewer healthy foods (fresh fruit and vegetables, organic foods and meals made from scratch) and more unhealthy foods (chips and crisps, chocolate, ready meals and takeaways). A balanced mood and feelings of wellbeing can be protected by ensuring that our diet provides adequate amounts of complex carbohydrates, essential fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals and water.

Mr Brown (Assistant Headteacher) and reigning champion Dr Birchall (Science), ably supported by Imogen Jenkins and Gabby Shepherd and George Eyles and Carlos Clarke, competed against each other to produce a healthy and tasty dish with the ingredients provided. For the second year running, Dr Birchall narrowly won with her vegetable curry! Many thanks to Ian at the Fun Food Company for the fantastic delivery, once again. and to Catering Academy for funding the event.

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