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  • 1. Juniusdottir, Ragnheidur
    et al.
    Hörnell, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Gunnarsdottir, Ingibjorg
    Lagstrom, Hanna
    Waling, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Olsson, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Talvia, Sanna
    Olafsdottir, Anna S.
    Composition of school meals in Sweden, Finland and Iceland: Official guidelines and comparison with practice and availability2018In: Journal of School Health, ISSN 0022-4391, E-ISSN 1746-1561, Vol. 88, no 10, p. 744-753Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Nutritious and attractive school meals can improve health equality and public health. Current official guidelines and recommendations on food and nutrient composition of school meals in 3 Nordic countries; Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, are described and compared with actual practice, ie, availability of foods and nutrients in served reference meals in 3 selected areas in each country.

    METHODS: A country comparison was made between official guidelines, and actual practice was studied in participating schools. Reference portions of school meals (N = 170) provided in 24 compulsory schools were photographed and weighed. Food and nutrient availability were compared with official guidelines in each country.

    RESULTS: Emphasis of recommendations on whole‐grain bread in Sweden, whole grains in Finland, and fish in Iceland were reflected in food availability. The energy content of the meals provided was lower than guidelines and there was a large variation in energy content between days.

    CONCLUSIONS: The guidelines regarding food availability were quite well followed, but the large variation in energy and nutrient content of provided school meals between days indicates a need for standardization.

  • 2.
    Waling, Maria
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Olafsdottir, Anna S
    School of Education, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland .
    Lagström, Hanna
    Turku Institute of Child and Youth Research, 20014 University of Turku, Finland.
    Wergedahl, Hege
    Faculty of Education, Bergen University College, Norway.
    Jonsson, Bert
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Olsson, Cecilia
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    Fossgard, Eldbjørg
    Faculty of Education, Bergen University College, Norway.
    Holthe, Asle
    Faculty of Education, Bergen University College, Norway.
    Talvia, Sanna
    Turku Institute of Child and Youth Research, 20014 University of Turku, Finland.
    Gunnarsdottir, Ingibjorg
    Hörnell, Agneta
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Food and Nutrition.
    School meal provision, health and cognitive function in a Nordic setting – the ProMeal-study: description of methodology and the Nordic context2016In: Food and Nutrition Research, ISSN 1654-661X, Vol. 60, article id 30468Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: School meals, if both nutritious and attractive, provide a unique opportunity to improve health equality and public health.

    Objective: To describe the study rationale, data collection, and background of participants in the study 'Prospects for promoting health and performance by school meals in Nordic countries' (ProMeal). The general aim was to determine whether overall healthiness of the diet and learning conditions in children can be improved by school lunches, and to capture the main concerns regarding school lunches among children in a Nordic context.

    Design: A cross-sectional, multidisciplinary study was performed in Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden on pupils (n=837) born in 2003.

    Results: In total 3,928 pictures of school lunches were taken to capture pupils' school lunch intake. A mean of 85% of all parents responded to a questionnaire about socioeconomic background, dietary intake, and habitual physical activity at home. Cognitive function was measured on one occasion on 93% of the pupils during optimal conditions with a Stroop and a Child Operation Span test. A mean of 169 pupils also did an Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test after lunch over 3 days. In total, 37,413 10-sec observations of classroom learning behavior were performed. In addition, 753 empathy-based stories were written and 78 focus groups were conducted. The pupils had high socioeconomic status.

    Conclusions: This study will give new insights into which future interventions are needed to improve pupils' school lunch intake and learning. The study will provide valuable information for policy making, not least in countries where the history of school meals is shorter than in some of the Nordic countries.

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