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This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. In order to facilitate students to make more healthy food choices and to develop healthy eating habits, it is important that the school food environment is healthy.
A descriptive study was conducted by an independent research agency to survey the perceptions, experiences, and opinions of users of the programme school directors, parents, students, and health professionals.
Next, further important results of the study are highlighted and relations with other projects, caveats, and practical recommendations are discussed. It is concluded that the Healthy School Canteen programme is a promising intervention to change the school food environment but that further research is needed to ultimately establish its effectiveness.
Also, it will be a challenge to motivate all schools to enroll in the programme in order to achieve the goal of the Dutch Government of all Dutch school cafeterias being healthy by The fact that children spend many hours at school each day, including lunchtime, causes the school environment to be an important out of home setting where children consume at least one main meal a day.
In this paper, we will first elaborate on why it is important to offer healthy food in school cafeterias and then introduce the Healthy School Canteen programme, an intervention that is aimed at making the school food environment healthier.
In the remainder of this paper, we will discuss a descriptive study that was conducted to assess perceptions and opinions of parties that have participate d in the programme. The idea that environmental factors can be important in shaping human behaviour is not new.
In the s, Lewin already emphasizes in his field theory that both the person and the environment need to be taken into consideration when studying human behaviour [ 4 ]. Lewin, considered to be the founding father of social psychology, conventionalised human behaviour as a function of both the person and the environment.
This perspective provides a useful starting point from which to consider eating behaviour. Specifically, it could help to explain that good and strong intentions to eat healthily person factors are most of the time not enough to prevent people from making unhealthy food choices.
Specifically, larger serving portions and packages usually allure people to consume more food, which in turn leads to greater energy intake [ 56 ].
Specifically, decision-making and choice behaviour usually results from one of two distinct cognitive processes: When decision-making is powered by the reflective system, people think carefully and rationally and they usually act upon their intentions.
On the other hand, when people operate through the impulsive system, they act more automatically and spontaneously and are usually led by impulses. When we apply these insights to the current topic of eating behaviour, it is to be expected that the environment strongly influences such behaviour when people make food choices via the impulsive system as opposed to the reflective system.
Research on habits and information processing has demonstrated that when behaviour has become habitual and when people are not motivated or cognitively involved enough or are too distracted to engage in effortful reasoning and deliberation, their decision making will likely be powered by the impulsive system [ 1112 ].
More specifically, this implies that when people have well-developed eating habits and are not very much involved in their food choices and as a result do not invest much time and effort in thinking about their choicesthe environment is likely to determine their eating behaviour to a large extent.
A recent study indicates that most students do not consider their eating patterns important and making healthy food choices is not a top-of-mind issue for them [ 13 ].
Also, meals and foods are consumed during breaks, which are for most students social events in which they communicate and hang out with each other. These two facts imply that students, when they are at school deciding what to eat for lunch, will most probably not be motivated enough or too distracted to engage in deliberate decision making about their eating behaviour.
In line with this, students themselves also indicate that they are influenced by the presence of unhealthy food in the school cafeteria. More specifically, they admit to be tempted when they see or smell palatable and unhealthy food [ 14 ].
For this reason, many Dutch students indicate that in their opinion schools should only sell healthy products [ 14 ]. Still, the majority of school cafeterias offer a large amount of unhealthy food products, and the school environment contributes in this way to the development of unhealthy eating patterns in young people.
When cafeteria offerings would be predominantly healthy and healthy food would be made more attractive e. And indeed, a study by TNO has demonstrated that this can be a fruitful and effective means of encouraging healthy eating behaviour in students: As a result, they had a lower calorie intake than students of schools with vending machines in which products with a lot of sugar and fat prevailed.
Another reason why targeting students offers great potential to improve healthy eating habits is that eating habits that are formed early in life may persist into adulthood [ 16 ] and that, once an unhealthy habit has been established it is difficult to change [ 17 ].
Therefore, promoting and establishing healthy habits in young people is probably more effective and fruitful than trying to change unhealthy habits later in life.
In addition, schools are increasingly indicated as key settings for interventions related to healthy eating. Health promotion in schools is worth the effort, because it can contribute to healthier behaviour in pupils, higher academic achievements, and a reduction in school drop-out levels [ 18 ].
At the same time, the school setting is an important context for health promotion because it reaches a large proportion of the population for many years [ 19 ]. It also offers a safe environment to practice new skills [ 20 ]. These skills have an effect on the possibility of young people to protect themselves against health risks and can positively affect their lifestyle into adulthood [ 20 ].
In this way, students are enabled to develop healthy eating habits from which they can benefit the rest of their lives. With this particular aim the Healthy School Canteen programme was developed.
The Healthy School Canteen programme of The Netherlands Nutrition Centre is an environmental intervention designed to create a healthy food environment and promote healthy food choices in secondary schools and schools for vocational training in The Netherlands.
This intervention entails a multicomponent strategy involving all parties: The programme consists of a four-step roadmap for school working groups, consisting of 1 an Inventory what is the current state of affairs regarding cafeteria offerings, curriculum and policy?This is a descriptive study aimed to assess the nutritional value of the foods and drinks offered by the three (3) school canteens of De La Salle Araneta University (DLSAU).
The data of the study were mainly derived from the ocular field observations of what kind of foods and drinks these three school canteens offer and what kind of food and. Food with minimal nutritional value should be strictly banned for sale in government or private schools.
Vending machines should be installed offering healthy nutrition bars, juices and milk. is and in to a was not you i of it the be he his but for are this that by on at they with which she or from had we will have an what been one if would who has her.
Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Poverty and lack of resources are two causes of bad nutrition that contribute to the estimated million people worldwide suffering the effects of malnutrition and its companion diseases, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Nutrition knowledge and the attitudes of teachers are of great concern in the promotion of healthy dietary habits among students. Some studies have shown that school teachers lack nutrition information and that they have an unhealthy lifestyle.