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      What are the key food groups to target for preventing obesity and improving nutrition in schools?

      European journal of clinical nutrition
      Adolescent, Age Factors, Australia, Beverages, Child, Child Nutritional Physiological Phenomena, Child, Preschool, Energy Intake, Female, Food, classification, Food Preferences, Food Services, standards, Humans, Male, Obesity, prevention & control, Schools, Sex Factors, Students, psychology, statistics & numerical data

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          Abstract

          To determine differences in the contribution of foods and beverages to energy consumed in and out of school, and to compare consumption patterns between school canteen users and noncanteen users. Cross-sectional National Nutrition Survey, 1995. Australia. SUBJECTS ON SCHOOL DAYS: A total of 1656 children aged 5-15 y who had weekday 24-h dietary recall data. An average of 37% of total energy intake was consumed at school. Energy-dense foods and beverages such as fat spreads, packaged snacks, biscuits and fruit/cordial drinks made a greater contribution to energy intake at school compared to out of school (P< or =0.01). Fast foods and soft drinks contributed 11 and 3% of total energy intake; however, these food groups were mostly consumed out of school. Fruit intake was low and consumption was greater in school. In all, 14% of children purchased food from the canteen and they obtained more energy from fast food, packaged snacks, desserts, milk and confectionary (P< or =0.05) than noncanteen users. : Energy-dense foods and beverages are over-represented in the Australian school environment. To help prevent obesity and improve nutrition in schools, biscuits, snack bars and fruit/cordial drinks brought from home and fast food, packaged snacks, and confectionary sold at canteens should be replaced with fruit and water.

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