Survey: longer school days leading to hungry and tired children

Results add fuel to the ongoing debate about lunch responsibility

According to a new survey by the national diet, exercise and health knowledge centre Kosmos, the longer school days implemented by the previous government’s school reforms have resulted in hungry and tired children.

The survey, which asked 230 eighth grade school kids (mostly 14-year-olds) at five different schools, discovered that 75 percent felt hungry and 93 percent felt tired during the day.

“There haven’t been any changes to the food and meal areas since the school reform, which one might expect due to the longer school days and increased focus on exercise,” Trine Skovlund Bentzen, the author of the survey, told TV2 News.

“The children have to concentrate on their studies for several hours a day. They might have had long days before too, but back then they were able to relax more and play. That’s not the case now.”

READ MORE: Parents or schools – who should be responsible for school lunches?

Part of greater debate
The results also showed there was a higher percentage of hungry and tired girls than there were boys, and there were fewer girls who took a larger lunch to school and who didn’t buy food often.

The survey adds fuel to the ongoing debate in Denmark regarding whose responsibility it is to feed school children: the parents or the schools.

“The schools haven’t been good enough at informing [parents] and that means there are students who are not being taken care of. I think there is a need for a dialogue between the schools and parents, but it could also be an area that the Education Ministry could focus more on,” said Bentzen.