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Last Updated: Tuesday November 09 2004 17:49 GMT

Kids 'bullied over food choices'

School dinners
Some kids are getting bullied for eating "un-cool" school meals, according to a survey.

Children's charity Barnardo's quizzed 174 pupils in England, Wales and Scotland about their views on food.

It found that some kids were teased for eating own brand food and chose certain meals because they wanted to fit in.

A Barnardo's spokesman said: "It appears that children have a fixed attitude to foods and stereotypes of the type of youngsters who eat them."

Burgers

Boys in particular were associated with a love of burgers.

One child was known as "chicken boy" because he ate poultry every day.

The findings come amid reports of growing obesity among children.

Inspections

Barnardo's is now calling for improvements in school dinners.

It wants inspections of how food is provided and to make sure schools don't rely on sponsorship from the makers of unhealthy snacks.

Your comments

I probably had the healthiest packed lunch in my whole year at school, but I got teased so much about it, that now I have biscuits and crisps for break instead of fruit and crackers.
Eleni, 14, Berkshire

People at school tease me if I bring in my own healthy food instead of eating chips and pizza from the canteen. I'd rather eat my packed lunch which is healthy and tasty instead of the school's junk.
Kiara, 15, Harlesden

I believe in this because a boy in my school always eats sandwiches and he gets called names, however I think it's a very stupid thing to do.
John, 15, Derry

I think that this new research is rubbish because what you eat does not cause bullying, at least in my experience.
Andy, 15, Coventry

If the bullies want to be fat when they're older let them.
Alex, 13, Blackpool

I don't think you can look cool by eating certain foods. Anyway wouldn't it be "cooler" to stay healthy and in shape, instead of eating lots of junk food?
Sarah, 9, Swindon

I don't think children are bullied over what they eat. We have a salad bar at our school and no one gets bullied if they eat salad.
Nikki, 14, Stourbridge

It's completely the opposite at my school. You are put under pressure to eat healthily and small amounts or else friends may call you greedy or fat.
Frances, 14, Worcester

It's ridiculous! At my school, everyone varies what they eat and nobody is fussed about anybody else. My friends and I all have something healthy most of the time, and nobody even notices! Bullying is certainly not caused by healthy eating, I think more of the consumption of junk food! Too much is unhealthy, and that's what some people find uncool.
Steff, 13, Nottingham

Children do get bullied from what they eat, I remember laughing at people that eat healthy food.
Tom, 13, Hinckley

Urgh. How horrible to be bullied about eating certain foods!!! I just don't understand.
Rhianna, 10, London

I like to eat healthily, and do not get bullied for it. For example I was recently at a party and I was the only child to order water. We started to discuss why I was ordering 'boring' water. I replied that I was ordering water because it was healthier, I don't particularly like the taste of fizzy drinks, but mainly because it is much better for me. I think I was understood, although they still all ordered fizzy drinks for themselves.
Anna, 11, Hertfordshire


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