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Eur J Clin Nutr. 2004 Feb;58(2):258-63.

What are the key food groups to target for preventing obesity and improving nutrition in schools?

Author information

  • 1Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Health Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, VIC 3125, Australia. cbell@deakin.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine differences in the contribution of foods and beverages to energy consumed in and out of school, and to compare consumption patterns between school canteen users and noncanteen users.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional National Nutrition Survey, 1995.

SETTING:

Australia. SUBJECTS ON SCHOOL DAYS: A total of 1656 children aged 5-15 y who had weekday 24-h dietary recall data.

RESULTS:

An average of 37% of total energy intake was consumed at school. Energy-dense foods and beverages such as fat spreads, packaged snacks, biscuits and fruit/cordial drinks made a greater contribution to energy intake at school compared to out of school (P< or =0.01). Fast foods and soft drinks contributed 11 and 3% of total energy intake; however, these food groups were mostly consumed out of school. Fruit intake was low and consumption was greater in school. In all, 14% of children purchased food from the canteen and they obtained more energy from fast food, packaged snacks, desserts, milk and confectionary (P< or =0.05) than noncanteen users.

CONCLUSIONS:

: Energy-dense foods and beverages are over-represented in the Australian school environment. To help prevent obesity and improve nutrition in schools, biscuits, snack bars and fruit/cordial drinks brought from home and fast food, packaged snacks, and confectionary sold at canteens should be replaced with fruit and water.

PMID:
14749745
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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