Food knowledge is power
By EMMA CORNFORD
INFORMATION is power, according to food author Sue Dengate, who visited South Grafton High on Wednesday afternoon to empower students by explaining the effects of their eating habits.
Around 50 students from South Grafton and Grafton High schools listened to Mrs Dengate's theories on the way different foods affect children's behaviour and the difference a change in diet can make to their school marks.
"All this is about is telling them what is in the food they eat and giving them the information," Mrs Dengate said.
"I'm not going to stand there and tell them what to do ? they can do what they want but they need to know to make a decision."
Mrs Dengate said she had received more interest in the behavioural effects of food since Jamie Oliver's school dinners television series.
"When he spoke to teachers one said the kids could concentrate more and another said most of the students don't need their asthma medication," she said.
"He's saying 'why don't we listen to these results?', and I'm saying the same thing."
Tapping into the realisation that senior high school results are important, Mrs Dengate said she had recently received a lot of positive feedback from younger people, as opposed to just their parents.
"I think they're beginning to realise that if they fail Year 12, that will follow them around for the rest of their life, so maybe they should look at what they're eating. I got an email from an 18-year-old who dropped out of school and, once he looked back, attributed it to eating more junkfood because he'd moved to the city. He emailed me to tell me he was going to uni which was amazing."