OBESITY campaigners want the Scottish Government to take healthy eating for school pupils seriously.

Obesity Action Scotland is calling on election candidates in local governments to transform school meals.

The organisation said it has found pupils are given puddings more often than healthy soup and vegetables.

Lorraine Tulloch, Programme Lead of Obesity Action Scotland, said: “We are calling on local government election candidates to commit to transform school meals across Scotland to ensure children have a healthy and happy experience with food.

“Change is possible and we have highlighted areas where that change is starting to happen, but more action is needed and greater priority and

attention needs to be given to this subject to ensure we offer all our children the best start in life.”

The charity wants to see local authorities using minimally processed foods and reducing sugar content.

Bosses also call for schools to offer a positive social environment for youngsters to enjoy eating healthy food.

A report by the organisation said diets varied across Scotland from local authority to local authority.

They want to make sure no child is left behind and and all children have the opportunity to access healthy food.

Research found Scottish primary schools serve puddings more often that soup and these puddings have an average of 14g of sugar.

In Glasgow, however, school meal provider Cordia has worked to make school meals enticing for pupils and keep them away from local snack bars.

As told in the Evening Times in March, Cordia took the step of opening an American-style diner in the playground of Holyrood Secondary.

While the diner serves up BBQ chicken buns, quesadillas, chilli dogs, mac and cheese and burritos, they all fit strict Scottish Government nutritional legislation.

Pupils are able to dine in over lunch or purchase food through an external service window to reduce queues.

Cordia also has an art cafe in Eastbank Academy as part of the school’s Fuel Zone as another means of tempting teenagers with healthy food.

According to Obesity Action Scotland, the diet of Scottish children is generally poor and failing to meet dietary goals.

In 2015 school age children ate only 2.7 portions of fruit and vegetables per day compared to the five portions recommended and only 14 per cent of school aged children ate oily fish once a week.

Free sugar intake is highest in children aged four to 18 compared to all other age groups.

This means school age children are consuming three times the recommended level of free sugars.