Healthy eating at school: what role does the organisation of food provision have on students perception of ownership?

Maria Louisa Bruselius-Jensen, Bent Egberg Mikkelsen

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    Abstract

    Unhealthy eating are common among adolescents and the school is a well suited setting for promoting healthy eating. For the school to play a role here, however an environment must be created, in which the school and the students develop a sense of ownership for a healthy food and nutrition "regime". This paper highlights the role that the organisation of food provision plays by comparing the attitudes of students towards in-school food provision as opposed to out-of-school provision where food is provided by outside caterers. Schools having internal food production and schools having external food provision were selected. All schools had a framework for student participation, a policy for including nutrition in the curriculum as well as canteen facilities. Schools were sampled to represent different social layers, different regions and different sizes of schools. The study investigated the attitudes of middle school students. The findings suggest that external operated food provision seems to be weakly founded in local food culture in the schools. This result in students having more negative attitudes towards the meals served and they are less obliged to choose unknown dishes. In addition external operated catering seems to have a negative effect on the social and cultural structures and functions related to the meal during lunchtime. Having meals in schools where external caterers are employed is experienced as an individual act by the students in comparison with schools having internal catering. Therefore in designing school meal programs aiming at being supportive for healthy eating, it is necessary to try to integrate the food provision in the life of the school.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2007
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2007
    EventThe 19th. IUHPE world Conference on Health Promotion & Health Education - Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 10 Jun 200715 Jun 2007
    Conference number: 19

    Conference

    ConferenceThe 19th. IUHPE world Conference on Health Promotion & Health Education
    Number19
    CountryCanada
    CityVancouver
    Period10/06/200715/06/2007

    Keywords

    • school meals
    • Children
    • Health promotion

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