The prevalence of obesity in reception age children is higher in Wales than in other parts of the UK, and Wales has higher levels of obesity among 15-year-olds than all European countries except Malta.
Food eaten in school is an important part of children's diets, making up 17% of meals and snacks eaten by primary school children.
The Welsh Government has recently committed to offering free school meals for all primary school children within 3 years. This will make 196,000 additional children eligible (a 356% increase from the ~76,000 children that are currently eligible).
At Nesta we are exploring how we can utilise our unique capabilities to improve the healthiness of what children eat during the school day, with the aim of reducing childhood obesity in Wales.
This is an opportunity to make food in schools healthier and create healthier habits for life.
We’re interested in understanding more about how different interventions may increase both school meal take up and the healthiness of school meals.
We are interested in more than just the food itself - and will be looking at the whole picture, from the attitudes and barriers to accessing free school meals through to the eating environment.