Maastricht University published an article about the findings of the ‘Healthy Primary School of the Future’ project done by university researchers. They were interested in how the health of children improves at school and thus compared more than 2,200 children from four project schools and four regular schools for four years.
The researchers observed the weight of children and their eating habits at school and they were shocked at the wide differences in health among children in these schools. The multi-year project ‘Healthy Primary School of the Future’ (Gezonde Basisschool van de Toekomst) demonstrates that the younger you start learning to adopt a healthy lifestyle, the greater the effect will be in the long term.
More than half of the Dutch population is overweight and there is a growing number of children who are also developing chronic diseases due to an unhealthy lifestyle, resulting in declining educational achievement and increased social inequality. So, the researchers are making an urgent appeal to policymakers, school boards and government: doing nothing is not an option. It is a crucial need to teach healthy habits in primary school.