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Government food service policies and guidelines do not create healthy school canteens

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journal contribution
posted on 2011-04-01, 00:00 authored by A de Silva-Sanigorski, T Breheny, Laura Jones, Katie LacyKatie Lacy, Peter Kremer, L Carpenter, Kristy BoltonKristy Bolton, Lauren Prosser, Lisa Gibbs, Elizabeth Waters, Boyd SwinburnBoyd Swinburn
Objective
In 2006, the Victorian Government adopted the School Canteens and other school Food Services (SCFS) Policy that bans the sale of sweet drinks and confectionary and recommends the proportions of menu items based on a traffic light system of food classification. This study aims to determine whether compliance with the policy improves the nutritional profile of the menus.
Methods
Items from food service menus were assessed for compliance with the SCFS policy and categorised as ‘everyday’ (‘green’), ‘select carefully’ (‘amber’) or ‘occasionally’ (‘red’) (n=106). Profile analysis assessed differences in the nutritional profile of the menus between sub-groups.
Results
Overall, 37% of menus contained items banned under the policy. The largest proportion of items on the assessed menus were from the ‘amber’ category (mean: 51.0%), followed by ‘red’ (29.3%) and ‘green’ (20.3%). No menus met the traffic light-based recommendations and there was no relationship between policy compliance and the proportion of items in each of the three categories.
Conclusions and implications
To increase the healthiness of the school food service we recommend a greater investment in resources and infrastructure to implement existing policies, and establishing stronger monitoring and support systems.

History

Journal

Australian and New Zealand journal of public health

Volume

35

Issue

2

Pagination

117 - 121

Publisher

Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia

Location

Richmond, Vic.

ISSN

1326-0200

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2011, The Authors. ANZJPH