What is it about?
Eating patterns among school-aged children continue to be highly reliant on frequent consumption of food items that are perceived to have low or poor nutritional value. This has become a serious public health concern. In this New Zealand-based study, primary school children's food consumption behaviour was investigated via two sources: a cross-sectional survey of school foods from 927 lunch-boxes, and the content analysis of unconsumed foods deposited in provided food waste disposal bins.
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Why is it important?
The results indicated that most lunch-boxes contained an over-representation of the food groups high in fat, sodium and sugar, and an under-representation of fruit and vegetables. In this study, the measured high proportions of unconsumed healthy foods (mainly fruit and vegetables), in comparison to unhealthy foods, being thrown away by school-children were of concern. The results indicate that schools and parents should pursue initiatives that support healthy diets for children as best practice.
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This page is a summary of: What are New Zealand children eating at school? A content analysis of `consumed versus unconsumed' food groups in a lunch-box survey, Health Education Journal, March 2009, SAGE Publications,
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