OBESITY campaigners have warned that schools in Inverclyde are serving up far too many puddings to their pupils. 

Obesity Action Scotland has suggested that sweet treats should disappear from the school canteen completely.

Now local education bosses say they are poised to drop desserts to two days a week in the wake of concerns from experts.

Inverclyde Council has one of the highest rates of pupils in the country who are eligible for free schools meals.

They also have up to two thousand primary 1-3 pupils choosing to eat school dinners every day.

But the menus on offer to them - and particularly the number of puddings - are a source for concern.

Obesity Action Scotland programme lead Lorraine Tulloch said: “We are delighted to see that Inverclyde Council offer soup and salads four or more days a week.

“However we would ask them to stop the practice of offering ‘soup or pudding’ as these are not nutritionally equivalent. 

“Steps could also be taken to reduce the number of days a week pudding is offered to children.”

The council says it won’t budge on the soup/pudding choice and has defended the meals it offers to children.

But it has confirmed plans to reduce the number of puddings on offer and make information about menus publicly available.

A council spokesman said: “We are pleased to provide quality, nutritional and well-balanced meals in our schools and have already made the decision to reduce the number of days a week puddings are offered from four to two from August this year. 

“We will continue to offer the choice of soup or pudding for the time being as it is popular among our children and young people. 

“Individual menus vary from school to school but from August we will be publishing generic nutritional information including sugar content on our website.”

Obesity Action Scotland was set up to tackle a growing problem, with latest figures suggesting one in 10 youngsters across the country are obese.

The group, made up of health professionals, has been investigating school menus across the country and they want to put the issue of nutrition in schools firmly in focus ahead of next week’s council elections.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “We are asking local government election candidates to consider what steps they can take to transform school meals by making the food as healthy as possible and ensuring every child has a positive dining experience.”