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Berggren, Linda
Publications (4 of 4) Show all publications
Berggren, L., Olsson, C., Talvia, S., Hörnell, A., Rönnlund, M. & Waling, M. (2019). The lived experiences of school lunch: an empathy-based study with children in Sweden. Children's Geographies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The lived experiences of school lunch: an empathy-based study with children in Sweden
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2019 (English)In: Children's Geographies, ISSN 1473-3285, E-ISSN 1473-3277Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

School lunch is in general regulated through policies and agendas constituted by the perspectives of adults. In this article, we focus on children’s lived experiences of school lunch with a special emphasis on emotions and how they relate to social and physical dimensions. This study draws on empathy-based stories written by 10–11 year olds (n = 171) from schools in Sweden. We identified three themes: Interaction and exposure, Routines and restrictions and Food and eating. The children’s lived experiences of school lunch and the emotions attached to them are closely associated and intertwined with the socio-spatial dimension of school lunch. A pleasant meal experience seems to require harmonization between the physical and social space whilst negative experiences contain tensions between them, something that actors working with school lunch and school lunch environments should take in consideration when resourcing, planning and scheduling school lunch, and also when designing new school restaurants.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2019
Keywords
School lunch, lived experiences, empathy-based stories, emotions, children's spaces, Henri Lefebvre
National Category
Nutrition and Dietetics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-161898 (URN)10.1080/14733285.2019.1642447 (DOI)000476147700001 ()2-s2.0-85069037183 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2019-08-08 Created: 2019-08-08 Last updated: 2019-08-08
Berggren, L., Talvia, S., Fossgard, E., Björk Arnfjörð, U., Hörnell, A., Ólafsdóttir, A. S., . . . Olsson, C. (2017). Nordic children's conceptualizations of healthy eating in relation to school lunch. Health Education, 117(2), 130-147
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nordic children's conceptualizations of healthy eating in relation to school lunch
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2017 (English)In: Health Education, ISSN 0965-4283, E-ISSN 1758-714X, Vol. 117, no 2, p. 130-147Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: Pupils' perspective should be better taken into account when developing nutrition education at school. The purpose of this paper is to explore Nordic children's perspectives on the healthiness of meals in the context of school lunches.

Design/methodology/approach: In total, 78 focus group discussions were conducted with 10-11-year-old girls and boys (n=457) from schools in Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, which were participating in the Nordic school meal project ProMeal during the school year 2013-2014. A flexible discussion guide and stimulus material in the form of 14 photographs displaying different school lunch contexts were used. The discussions were analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings: These Nordic children seem to share the adult-set aim of healthy eating in the school context as a socio-cultural norm. Although healthy eating was constructed as a rational, normative and acceptable way to eat at school, unhealthy eating was emphasized as negotiably acceptable when eaten occasionally and under certain circumstances (e.g. at special occasions). Unhealthy eating also comprised emotionally laden descriptions such as enjoyment and disgust.

Practical implications: Children's conceptualizations of healthy eating are connected to nutritional, socio-cultural, emotional and normative dimensions, which should be reflected also when developing nutrition education in school.

Originality/value: The need for research exploring children's experiences of, and understandings about, school lunch motivated this unique multicenter study with a large number of participating children. In the focus groups a child-oriented, photo-elicitation method was used.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017
Keywords
Focus groups, Health education, Schools, Education, Children, Food
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Food and Nutrition
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-130988 (URN)10.1108/HE-05-2016-0022 (DOI)000395665600001 ()
Projects
ProMeal
Funder
Nordic Council of Ministers, 54761Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and WelfareMagnus Bergvall Foundation
Available from: 2017-02-02 Created: 2017-02-02 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
Berggren, L., Talvia, S., Björk Arnfjörð, U. & Fossgard, E. (2016). Healthy eating as an unquestional norm in the school lunch context - Nordic children´s perspective. In: : . Paper presented at VII Conference on Childhood studies 6-8/6 2016 Turku, Finland.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Healthy eating as an unquestional norm in the school lunch context - Nordic children´s perspective
2016 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Introduction/Background: In the Nordic primary schools school lunches are organized in different ways, ranging from a hot meal served daily to every pupil free of charge to lunch boxes taken from home. Yet, the importance of the lunch for health and nutrition has been emphasized in all countries in dietary recommendations or in curricula. Little is known, however, how children themselves reflect on healthy eating in the school lunch context.

Topic/Aim: to explore 10-year-old Nordic children’s perspectives on healthy eating in the school lunch context.

Methods: Results are based on 72 focus groups with altogether 423 Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian and Icelandic participants of the Nordic ProMeal study. Stimulated by preselected photos taken in different global school lunch situations children were autonomously able to select interesting topics and perspectives for discussions. The data was analyzed by using thematic analysis and focusing on both semantic and latent meanings.

Results/Findings: Two main themes were found in the data: First, a semantic theme of categorizing related to the ways how healthy and unhealthy eating were distinguished from each other, and second, a more latent theme of the acceptability of healthy and unhealthy eating. Clear dichotomy of the entities of healthy and unhealthy eating dominated the discussion. Healthy eating was constructed as a rational, normative and acceptable way to eat in the school context, even with some moralistic tones. Yet, children also negotiated the borders of these two entities, which made the principally unacceptable unhealthy eating more acceptable also in the school context.

Conclusions: Nordic children seem to share the adult-set aim of healthy eating in the school context as a socio-cultural norm. Teachers dealing with healthy eating should be aware of and reflect the normative, even moral nature of healthy eating.

National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Food and Nutrition
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135665 (URN)
Conference
VII Conference on Childhood studies 6-8/6 2016 Turku, Finland
Available from: 2017-06-02 Created: 2017-06-02 Last updated: 2018-06-09
Berggren, L., Talvia, S., Fossgard, E., Björk Arnfjörð, U., Hörnell, A., Ólafsdóttir, A., . . . Olsson, C. (2016). Perspectives about health outcomes related to food among Nordic children. In: : . Paper presented at NNC2016 - 11th Nordic nutrition conference, June 20-22, 2016, Gothenburg.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perspectives about health outcomes related to food among Nordic children
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2016 (English)Conference paper, Poster (with or without abstract) (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Perspectives about health outcomes related to food among Nordic children

Linda Berggren* 1, Sanna Talvia2, Eldbjørg Fossgard3, Unnur Björk Arnfjörð4, Agneta Hörnell 1, Anna Ólafsdóttir 4,Ingibjörg Gunnarsdóttir 5, Hege Wergedahl 3, Hanna Lagström 6, Maria Waling1, Cecilia Olsson1

1Umeå University, Department of food and nutrition, Umeå, Sweden, 2Child and Youth Research institute, Turku, Finland,3Faculty of Education, Bergen University College, Bergren, Norway, 4School of Education, University of Iceland, 5TheNational University Hospital of Iceland , Unit for Nutrition Research, Reykjavik, Iceland, 6University of Turku, TurkuInstitute of Child and Youth Research, Turku, Finland

Preferred presentation type: Only Poster

Background and aims: Dietary intake in school has previously been studied but little is known about Nordic children’sperspectives on food healthiness in the school lunch context. This study aims to explore 10-year-old Nordic children’sperspectives on outcomes of healthy eating in the school lunch context.

Methods: Seventy-two focus groups were conducted in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Iceland with a total of 423participants. A flexible topic guide and 14 preselected photos displaying different school lunch contexts were used asstimuli material. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed using thematic analysis.

Results: Children reasoned that school lunch are and should be healthy since the food eaten at school has short andlong term outcomes related to cognitive and physical health. It was commonly expressed that food eaten in school affectsschool work and functioning in learning activities. It was also stated that food eaten in school can have negative andpositive effects on your mood, e.g. eating unhealthy food or an insufficient amount of food, puts you in a bad mood whichcan affect the rest of the school day. The discussions mainly relied on negative short term effects such as feeling ill andreduced stamina. Some food and food groups such as vegetables, milk and fish, were mentioned in a more positivesense highlighting the positive short- and long term outcomes on health. When describing the long-term outcomes ofeating, children mentioned that healthy eating helps to build muscles, grow and prevent diseases, such as cancer anddiabetes. Sugar and fat was frequently mentioned as being the cause of overweight and some other diseases.

Conclusion: In general, Nordic children have an adequate understanding of established relations between food andhealth. Yet, we know that many pupils do not eat according to recommendations. This highlights the importance of takingthe complexity of food choice into consideration in nutritional education.

Disclosure of Interest: None to declare

National Category
Nutrition and Dietetics
Research subject
Food and Nutrition
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-135664 (URN)
Conference
NNC2016 - 11th Nordic nutrition conference, June 20-22, 2016, Gothenburg
Available from: 2017-06-02 Created: 2017-06-02 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved
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