Making a meal of it

MooseADA while ago, I wrote this about kids on buses eating crisps for breakfast.

Well, it turns out that London’s schoolchildren, with their breakfasts of massive bags of Tangy Cheese Doritos, have got nothing on Sheffield’s little wallet-emptiers. These guys are “going to school on a junk food breakfast of Peperami, chocolate bars and crisps”. ’Ramis for breakfast? Brilliant.

It all makes for pretty funny reading. I particularly like this ‘statistic’: “Worringly, 14 per cent of children say they go into an off-licence to buy breakfast”. There’s something like 15 million kids in the UK, so, according to this survey (and my dodgy maths), more than two million children nip into Oddbins every day on the way to school for their morning meal. Yeah, okay.

This one’s even better. “Nationally, a staggering one in every class of 14-year-olds say they go to school on a cigarette.” Now, my innate pedantry, combined with a fairly facetious streak, initially led me to question the logistics of actually arriving at school on a cigarette. Joking aside, though, seriously?

How many children were surveyed? This is something the ‘stories’ I read on this report failed to mention. The Daily Mail did include the figures, though: 1,000 parents and 1,000 children were quizzed. But other pertinent details such as where the surveys took place and how many people were surveyed in each area, not to mention the socioeconomic backgrounds of participants, were absent.

While I’m on this, it’s worth reproducing the Mirror’s coverage of the story in its entirety, because the lack of detail and the writer’s palpable disinterest in the issue is hilarious:

Pupils start day with cig

2/09/2009

HEALTH

One child in every class of 14 year olds is skipping breakfast and starting the day on a cigarette, a survey has found.

A quarter of this age group have crisps and fizzy drinks as their first meal.

Research by Kellogg’s revealed that a quarter of seven to 14-year-olds regularly snack on cakes and sweets in the morning.

Public health nutritionist Kathy Cowbrough said: “Missing a decent breakfast makes us more tired, irritable and less able to concentrate.”

Coverage of this was everywhere, including the aforementioned Daily Mail and Mirror, and morning freesheet The Metro. And who, you may ask, conducted this report and brought this latest snack-food scandal to our collective attention? Kellogg’s. I bet they fucking did, THEY MAKE BREAKFAST CEREALS.

Can we have some real news now, please?

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