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School meals in French secondary state schools: do national recommendations lead to healthier nutrition on offer?

Abstract : To improve the dietary offering in schools, the French authorities published recommendations on nutrition in 1999, which were thenrevised in 2007. The aim of the present study was to assess the nutritional offering in secondary school meals and the extent to whichthe recommendations promote balanced nutritional offerings. In 2005, a national survey was conducted on a representative sample of secondaryschools, either administrated by the Ministry of Education (ES) or the Ministry of Agriculture (AS). Information on school-cateringorganisation and twenty consecutive meals was collected from each of the 707 secondary schools surveyed. Nutritional composition wasestimated according to the French food composition database. Univariate and multivariate analyses were used to investigate the impact offood-group frequency guidelines (FFG) on nutritional offering. It was found that 15 and 26% of ES and AS schools, respectively, had highcompliance with the FFG, at lunch. Macronutrient content was unbalanced in ES school lunches in which 42·8% lipids, 21·5% proteins and35·7% carbohydrates contributed to the energy. Nevertheless, proper offerings in Fe, Ca and vitamin C content were observed. In addition,a lower offering in lipids and a higher offering in proteins, Ca, vitamin C and Fe were found when the FFG were applied (P,0·001). Similarresults were found for AS schools. This paper confirms the effectiveness of FFG in providing nutritionally balanced school meals. However,others measures such as nutrition promotion and actions to improve children’s food habits have to be introduced to make the recommendationsmore effective and easier to understand.
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https://hal-anses.archives-ouvertes.fr/anses-01875199
Contributor : Carine Dubuisson <>
Submitted on : Monday, September 17, 2018 - 10:07:08 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, July 16, 2020 - 4:28:59 PM

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Mélanie Bertin, Lionel Lafay, Gloria Calamassi-Tran, Jean-Luc Volatier, Carine Dubuisson. School meals in French secondary state schools: do national recommendations lead to healthier nutrition on offer?. British Journal of Nutrition, Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2012, 107 (03), pp.416 - 427. ⟨10.1017/S000711451100300X⟩. ⟨anses-01875199⟩

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