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Effect of organic school meals to promote healthy diet in 11-13 year old children. A mixed methods study in four Danish public schools

, : Effect of organic school meals to promote healthy diet in 11-13 year old children. A mixed methods study in four Danish public schools. Appetite 59(3): 866-876

The aim of this study was to investigate whether organic school meals can be an effective strategy to provide healthy food to children and promote their healthy eating habits. Furthermore, the study aimed to examine pupils attitudes predicting intention and behaviours in relation to organic food and health. An observational cross-sectional study was designed, and the participants were 6th grade Danish pupils from two schools with organic food provision and two schools with non-organic food provision. The pupils were asked to complete an online adapted food frequency questionnaire, after which selected pupils were invited to focus group interviews. More positive school lunch habits were observed in pupils in the organic schools than in the non-organic schools. Generally all the pupils had positive attitudes towards organic food and health and this had a significant impact on their intention to consume organic food but not on their behaviour. In addition, all participants were willing to adopt healthier eating habits in the future both at school and in the home. These findings suggest that children attending schools where meals include organic ingredients might be more aware of healthy foods, organic foods and healthy eating habits. Children in schools with organic food policy had better expectation of school meals. Children in schools with organic food policy had better experience of school meals. Schoolchildren had good knowledge and attitude towards organic food and health. Schoolchildren s attitudes had impact on their intentions of consuming organic food.


PMID: 22963739

DOI: 10.1016/j.appet.2012.09.001

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