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The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa

O'Halloran, Siobhan, Eksteen, G, Polayya, N, Ropertz, M and Senekal, M 2021, The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa, Nutrients, vol. 13, no. 6, pp. 1-27, doi: 10.3390/nu13062043.

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Title The Food Environment of Primary School Learners in a Low-to-Middle-Income Area in Cape Town, South Africa
Author(s) O'Halloran, SiobhanORCID iD for O'Halloran, Siobhan orcid.org/0000-0003-2724-6484
Eksteen, G
Polayya, N
Ropertz, M
Senekal, M
Journal name Nutrients
Volume number 13
Issue number 6
Article ID 2043
Start page 1
End page 27
Total pages 27
Publisher MDPI
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publication date 2021
ISSN 2072-6643
2072-6643
Keyword(s) ADOLESCENTS
ASSOCIATIONS
BEHAVIORS
children
CHILDRENS DIET
community
diet
FAT INTAKE
food
food environments
FRUIT
home
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
Nutrition & Dietetics
NUTRITION ENVIRONMENT
obesity
overweight
PERCEPTIONS
school
Science & Technology
VEGETABLE CONSUMPTION
Summary Rapid changes in food environments, where less nutritious foods have become cheaper and more accessible, have led to the double burden of malnutrition (DBM). The role food environments have played in shaping the DBM has attained global interest. There is a paucity of food environment research in low-to-middle-income countries. We conducted a case study of the food environments of school aged learners. A primary school in Cape Town was recruited. A multi-method design was used: a home food and eating behaviours questionnaire completed by 102 household respondents and four questions completed by 152 learners; learner participatory photography; a semi-structured school principal interview; a tuckshop inventory; observation of three-day tuckshop purchases. Foods that were commonly present in households: refined carbohydrates, fats/oils, chicken, processed meats, vegetables, fruit, legumes, snacks/drinks. Two thirds of households had rules about unhealthy drinks/snacks, ate supper together and in front of the TV, ate a home cooked meal five–seven times/week and ate breakfast together under two times/week. Vegetables were eaten under two times/week in 45% of households. A majority of learners (84%) took a lunchbox to school. Twenty-five learners photographed their food environment and 15 participated in semi-structured interviews. Six themes emerged: where to buy; what is available in the home; meal composition; family dynamics; peer engagement; food preparation. Items bought at informal food outlets included snacks, drinks and grocery staples. The principal interview revealed the establishment of a healthy school food environment, including a vegetable garden, although unhealthy snacks were sold at the tuckshop. Key dimensions of the food environment that require further investigation in disadvantaged urban and informal settlement areas include the home availability of unhealthy foods, eating behaviours in households and healthfulness of foods sold by informal food outlets.
Language eng
DOI 10.3390/nu13062043
Field of Research 0908 Food Sciences
1111 Nutrition and Dietetics
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30157938

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.