Changing school break timings could help increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables "significantly", a new study claims.
The US research team said that holding school breaks before lunchtime can help increase fruit and vegetable consumption by 54 per cent, because when lunch break is the first break of the day, children are in a hurry to finish their food in order to go and play.
Co-author David Just, a PhD student at Cornell University, said: "Recess is often held after lunch, so children hurry to finish so that they can go play, and this results in wasted fruits and vegetables. However, we found that if recess is held before lunch, students come to lunch with healthy appetites and less urgency and are more likely to finish their fruits and vegetables.
The team made a total of 22,939 observations in all, and concluded that schools that switched were not only able to increase consumption by 54 per cent, but engineer a 45 per cent increase in those eating at least one serving of fruits and vegetables.