Forty days of free school meals as a tool for introducing market-based healthy school meal systems in 35 Danish schools

Nenna Maria Brinck, Mette Weinreich Hansen, Niels Heine Kristensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


Aims: When approaching school meal systems, different concepts can guide the design of the food preparation and serving activities. This paper presents a government-planned intervention concept of 40 days of free school meals. The argument behind this intervention was to kick-start the implementation of healthy school meal systems in Danish schools. This paper argues that the initiative (in reality) invited the establishment of a service system concept, which dominated the initiative and led to a lack of involvement of important key players needed in health promotion.
Methods: The method used for data collection was semi-structured, qualitative interviews.
Results: The main results from a systematic examination of the 35 participating schools show that the systems were mainly organized with external suppliers, and only a few of the 35 schools succeeded in establishing a user-paid school meal system afterwards.
Conclusions: The established meal systems contained a lack of embedding factors, which is pointed to as one of the main challenges to a user-financed school meal system. The experiences of these 35 participating schools show that a period of free school meals is not a sustainable tool for achieving the goal of establishing new, healthy and user-paid school meals.
TidsskriftPerspectives in Public Health
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)280-282
StatusUdgivet - nov. 2011
Udgivet eksterntJa

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