Children's future health prospects could be enhanced by the provision of more fruit and vegetables in their packed lunch.
The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) stated parents are missing an opportunity to positively impact their children's health as the packed lunches they provide for them are not healthy enough.
Recent improvement in the nutrition of school dinners has left some children who take packed lunches with a nutritional disadvantage, said Kate Mendoza, head of education at the WCRF. She drew on a School Food Trust primary school food survey which showed 40 per cent of packed lunches do not contain either fruit or vegetables.
Ms Mendoza believes the findings were "disappointing" because parents have few opportunities to positively affect schoolchildren's eating habits and they must recognise the significant effects that their current diet will have on their future health.
UK health secretary Andrew Lansley recently stated that healthcare focus must switch to preventative measures in order to combat the next generation's major health threats.