An overwhelming majority of respondents to the latest caycompass.com online poll think parents have the responsibility of ensuring school students eat a healthy lunch.
Of the 359 respondents, 269 of them (74.9 per cent) said the buck stops with parents.
‘Parents should give their kids a healthy lunch, and if not, make sure they are getting one at school,’ said one person.
‘The typical attitude is that the government should ensure students eat a healthy lunch,’ said another person. ‘But it really has to fall to parents. If they can’t afford to provide their children with a healthy lunch, then it’s up to them to take the necessary steps with Social Services to see that it happens.’
Some respondents blamed parents for not taking more active control concerning their children’s diets.
‘…The students will stop at Wendy’s and will stop at Burger King when open for breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch and for something to eat on the way home… because they can,’ noted one respondent. ‘Parents give them money as it saves an argument. Anything for an easy life.’
One person suggested parents sending their children to school with a packed lunch to ensure it was a healthy one.
Fifty-five people (15.3 per cent) thought it was the responsibility of the schools to ensure students eat a healthy lunch, while 23 people (6.4 per cent) thought it was the government’s responsibility and eight people (2.2 per cent) thought it the responsibility of the children themselves.
No one thought it was the responsibility of domestic helpers to ensure students ate a healthy lunch.
Four (1.1 per cent) people answered ‘other’ in the poll.
‘This is a joint responsibility of both the parents and the school – the parents to instil the values and the school to ensure that a healthy choice is available,’ said one person.
‘Ensuring that students eat a healthy lunch is the combined responsibility of parents, students, caretakers and schools alike,’ said someone else.
One person commented about the need of educating students about their diets.
‘The West Indian diet is very high in carbs and fat, a diet that evolved from slavery and what food stuffs were available to people,’ the respondent said. ‘Times have changed and these high calorie meals are no longer burned off by a hard day’s work.
‘Dietary education at all levels is necessary as is a strong physical fitness programme.’
‘This is a joint responsibility of both the parents and the school – the parents to instil the values and the school to ensure that a healthy choice is available.’
– Poll respondent