Deakin University

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Parents' and teachers' perceptions of the Australian primary school food provision venues and food-related policies

journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-06, 03:55 authored by Janandani NanayakkaraJanandani Nanayakkara, Alison BoothAlison Booth, Anthony Worsley, Claire MargerisonClaire Margerison
PurposeThis study aims to gain an understanding from parents and teachers about the types of food provision practices and venues, and the food-related policies and rules in primary schools in Australia; and investigate any differences in the presence of policies and rules based on the school location and school type.Design/methodology/approachData were collected via two online surveys from August 2019 to March 2020. Descriptive statistics were employed to analyse quantitative responses. Respondents' written responses to food-related policies were categorised into groups.FindingsThe two most common food provision services were canteen and lunch order services (mentioned by 72 and 55% of respondents, respectively). Of the 425 respondents whose schools had a canteen (parents and teachers together), 62% reported their school implements a healthy school canteen policy. Significantly more parents compared to teachers, and more respondents from government schools compared to non-government schools stated that their school had implemented such a policy. Approximately half of the respondents (47%) stated their school had implemented other food-related policies and/or rules. These policies or rules belonged to four categories: avoiding certain foods, avoiding food sharing, avoiding food packages and promoting healthy eating.Originality/valueThis study shows the disparities exist in implementing food-related policies among primary schools in Australia. Nutrition promoters and policy planners should consider these results and find the best mechanisms to minimise the gaps in policy implementation.



British Food Journal